Grade 5 students from several schools in the Warren City School District will be attending the Air Force Rise Commemorative Traveling Exhibition at Youngstown Warren Regional Airport this week. The exhibit’s theme is “victory overcoming adversity” and focuses on World War II history, particularly the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American and Caribbean-born military pilots who fought in the war. The event, which features the Red Tail Squadrons and Women Air Force Pilots dedicated to bringing the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen to life, is open to the public from Wednesday through Sunday.
Director of the Warren Heritage Center Jim Valesky played an integral part in bringing the traveling exhibit to Trumbull County. Originally scheduled to come to Vienna in October, the exhibit was postponed due to an accident involving the accompanying aircraft, a North American Aviation P-51 Mustang. Valesky said that although he gave the school district the option of holding the exhibit without an aircraft, he decided to wait until a full experience, including the aircraft, could be provided for the students.
The exhibit also includes a tribute to the Women Air Force Pilots, or WASPs, who made history by flying U.S. military aircraft during World War II. Visitors can view a mobile cinema showing the short film “Rise Above” on a 160-degree panoramic screen that makes them feel as if they’re in the cockpit. The exhibit is aimed specifically at school children, and admission is free, although donations to cover $30,000 in expenses are welcome.