Less Traveled 2012

Ernie Wiggins

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

New roadside marker honoring Tuskegee Airmen in Walterboro

Posted 9/11/2011 4:18:00 PM

Regular travelers along Interstate 95 through Colleton County will notice a new roadside marker to honor the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II.

The section of I-95 through Colleton was renamed the Tuskegee Memorial Highway in July to celebrate the airmen’s legacy and their close connection to the state.


The highway marker is only the most recent South Carolina memorial to commemorate the country’s first black military airmen. A monument to the airmen in the city of Walterboro was dedicated in 1997 and is part of the Walterboro Army Airfield Memorial Park, which also is the location of markers for a World War II prisoner of war camp, a camouflage school and a beacon that was used to guide military planes using the airfield during the war.

The Tuskegee Airmen were trained to be aircraft mechanics, armament specialists, radio repairmen and control tower operators, among other positions in support of the Army Air Corps. Airmen who became pilots were trained at the Tuskegee Army Air Field in Tuskegee, Ala., but received combat training in other locations, including the Walterboro Army Airfield. In total, 994 Tuskegee pilots were commissioned.

If you’re going:

The Tuskegee Airmen Memorial is on Aviation Way two miles northeast of Walterboro in Airport Park off U.S. 17.