During the middle years of World War II, Michigan served as an advanced training ground for many graduates of the famous All-African-American Tuskegee pilot training program. A memorial is being dedicated to five Tuskegee Airmen that perished in accidents in the Port Huron area.
Two Tuskegee Airmen P-39 Airacobra aircraft wreckage were discovered in the Michigan area. One wreck was located in Lake Huron and the other in St. Clair River. The St. Clair River wreck was flown by Flight Officer Nathaniel P. Rayburg. The Lake Huron wreck, flown by 2nd Lt. Frank H. Moody, was discovered on April 11, 2014… seventy years to the day of the accident. Both pilots perished in the accidents.
In August 2015 a dive team consisting of volunteers from the Diving with a Purpose (DWP) Maritime Archaeology Program and maritime archaeologists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary mapped the site and wreckage of 2nd Lt. Moody’s accident, identifying his plane from pieces still intact from his instrument panel. Recently DWP and NOAA recovered artifacts from 2nd Lt. Moody’s site for a memorial exhibition in the National Tuskegee Airmen Museum in Detroit.
Our Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Campaign will fund the design and installation of a memorial recognizing the bravery, conviction, patriotism and sacrifice of the Tuskegee Airmen that died in service to their country, culminating in an unveiling ceremony in the Flag Plaza along the beautiful St Clair River in Port Huron during the summer of 2020.
Please help us in our mission to recognize them as the patriots they were. You can make your tax-deductible donation online or send a check by mail payable to 'Diving With a Purpose' to 1309 Jackson Street, Nashville, TN 37208.
Thank you for your support.