Red Tails Honor The Legacy Of Fallen Tuskegee Airman

100FS flyover of Capt Dickson funeral

Four F-16 Fighting Falcons with the 100th Fighter Squadron, 187th Fighter Wing, Dannelly Field, Ala., fly in a Missing Man Formation during a full military honors funeral for Capt. Lawrence E. Dickson March 22, 2019, at Arlington National Cemetery, Va. Dickson was a Tuskegee Airman with the original 100th FS whose plane crashed in December of 1944. After being declared missing in action, Dickson's remains were identified in November 2018. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Hayden Johnson)

Lt Col Stimpson presents F-16 lithograph to Marla Andrews.

Lt. Col. Rob Stimpson, 100th Fighter Squadron commander, presents Marla Andrews, daughter of Capt. Lawrence E. Dickson, with an F-16 lithograph after a full military honors funeral and a Missing Man Formation flyover by the Red Tails, March 22, 2019, at Arlington National Cemetery, Va. Andrews is the only child of Dickson, a Tuskegee Airman with the original 100th FS, whose plane crashed in December of 1944. After being declared missing in action, Dickson's remains were identified in November 2018. The lithograph was signed by current members of the 100th FS. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Hayden Johnson)

187FW and 100FS leadership with Marla Andrews

(From L to R) Master Sgt. Curtis Hills, maintenance alert team supervisor with the 113th Wing, Joint Base Andrews, Md., Col. Edward Casey, 187th Fighter Wing Vice Wing Commander, Dannelly, Field, Ala., Marla Andrews, daughter of Tuskegee Airman Capt. Lawrence E. Dickson, 100th Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group, Gabriel Martin, daughter of Dickson's wingman Lt. Robert L. Martin, a Tuskegee Airman with the 100th FS, Lt. Col. Rob Stimpson, 100th FS commander, 187th FW, and Lt. Col. Nathan Harrold, 377th Fighter Squadron commander, pose with an F-16 Fighting Falcon March 21, 2019, at JBA, Md. Andrews is the only child of Capt. Lawrence E. Dickson, a Tuskegee Airman with the original 100th FS, whose plane crashed in December of 1944. After being declared missing in action, Dickson's remains were identified in November 2018. Dickson was laid to rest March 22, 2019 at Arlington National Cemetery, Va. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Hayden Johnson)

ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETARY, Va. --

Dannelly Field’s 100th Fighter Squadron carries more than the name “Red Tails”, it carries the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen who faced challenges and valiantly served not only on the battle field, but on the home front.

Today, the Red Tails continue to honor those men for the sacrifices they made in service to our country.

On March 22, 2019, the Red Tails performed the Missing Man formation, an aerial salute for a fallen member, for Capt. Lawrence E. Dickson before his remains were laid to rest during a full military honors funeral at Arlington National Cemetery.

Dickson was a Tuskegee Airman with the 100th FS, 332nd Fighter Group, who was declared missing in action in December 1944 after the engine of his P -51D Mustang failed while returning from an aerial reconnaissance mission.

Last summer, his remains were found after nearly 75 years and returned to his daughter and remaining family.

“To be able to honor his sacrifice, and the closure we’re hoping to bring to Ms. Andrews (Dickson’s daughter) and her family, is very humbling.” said Lt. Col. Rob Stimpson, the 100th FS commander.

The Tuskegee Airmen overcame segregation and prejudice to become one of the most highly respected fighter groups of World War II. Their achievements, together with the men and women who supported them, paved the way for full integration of the U.S. military.

“I have no idea the kind of adversity and the kind of challenges [Dickson] had to face external to the challenges that already existed flying those airplanes.” Stimpson said. “[Flying aircraft], in and of itself, is a challenge that I can relate to, but on top of that, having to fight through the racial tensions [of the time] speaks to his character.”

Dickson’s legacy and sacrifice is one not to be forgotten, Stimpson continued. The heritage of the Tuskegee Airmen and 100th Fighter Squadron is what makes the Red Tails who they are.

“The minute you speak about it, people get it.” Stimpson said. “They understand the importance of it, that this is a priority.

“We could have just as easily done [the flyover] from afar, but I think Ms. Andrews is owed our support for the sacrifice she had to make. She didn’t have a choice...he did have a choice. He made the choice to put himself in harm’s way, and then didn’t come home. Now he’s coming home, and it’s important to be a part of that.” Stimpson said.