Davisville, Feb. 20, 2023: Decades later, the Tuskegee Airmen still have things to tell us

If you’re reading this, you likely already know at least a little about the Tuskegee Airmen. These 16,000 men and women helped defend the United States during World War II even though as Black Americans they had to overcome Jim Crow laws and racism just to be allowed to fight for their home.

Today’s guests are Leigh Roberts and Lanelle Brent, whose father George “Spanky” Roberts was a fighter pilot and Tuskegees’ commander during the war. The sisters help run the Tuskegee Airmen Heritage Chapter of Greater Sacramento. You might have heard them speak in Davis.

We talk about what the airmen endured, why they said they endured it, and what they achieved. We also learn about George Roberts, who earned an engineering degree as a teenager, and retired from the Air Force as a colonel in 1968. He and Edith McMillan Roberts (in photo, on their wedding day) married right after he finished flight training. Right after -- as in, within minutes. "They were married immediately after the graduation,” Leigh said. George had promised Edith they’d marry as soon as he graduated. He was always that literal, Lanelle said. Edith “called it the engineer brain.”

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