03.29.07

Schiff Attends Capitol Ceremony to Honor Tuskegee Airmen

Washington, D.C. – This week, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) attended a special ceremony in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol where the Tuskegee Airmen were honored for their service and bravery in World War II.  At the ceremony, the Tuskegee Airmen were awarded Congress’s highest civilian honor, the Congressional Gold Medal.  O. Oliver Goodall of Altadena served as a pilot from 1942 to 1947 and was awarded a replica Congressional Gold Medal at this week’s Capitol ceremony. 

“These men are extraordinary, and this recognition is long overdue and well deserved,” Schiff said.  “It was a thrill and an honor to meet so many of these American heroes.  I was especially excited and proud to see Mr. Goodall walk in the procession into the Capitol.  I have enjoyed spending time with him, and he is truly remarkable.  We as a nation owe Mr. Goodall and his colleagues a debt of gratitude, and this week’s recognition was fitting.” 

The Tuskegee Airmen were an all-black unit of World War II pilots and crew who were mostly trained at Tuskegee Army Air Field (TAAF) in Tuskegee, Alabama.  The Tuskegee Airmen included pilots, navigators, bombardiers, maintenance and support staff, instructors, and all the personnel who kept the planes in the air.  From 1942 to 1947, 994 pilots graduated from TAAF and received commissions and pilot’s wings. About 450 of these pilots flew in combat missions in the war, escorting bombers throughout Europe and North Africa.  The Tuskegee unit was credited with shooting down 111 German planes and is thought to be the only fighter unit to have never lost a bomber.

Mr. Goodall flew a P-47 and was stationed in Kentucky, Indiana, and South Carolina.  He now serves as the public relations officer for the Los Angeles Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen Inc. and still flies today. Following the ceremony in the Capitol, he joined Rep. Schiff on his local television show, Capitol Report, which will air on local public access television in the district soon.

“It was a very interesting and a moving ceremony,” said Mr. Goodall.  “To see and hear the speakers gave me hope for the future. I was proud of the Representatives and Senators who voted for the recognition without a naysayer in the bunch.”