Lt. Col. Leo R. Gray (USAF Retired), a member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, will be the keynote speaker for a Friday Youth Aviation fundraiser dinner hosted by Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 1240 at the Group 44 Airport Operations hangar at Sebring Regional Airport at 6 p.m.
The highly decorated Lt. Col. Gray joined the Army Air Corps just after graduating high school in 1943. Shortly after that he graduated as a Second Liuentenant, single engine pilot from the Tuskegee Army airfield.
Gray flew P-51 Mustang, “Red Tails” in 15 combat missions for an astonishing 750 hours of flight time. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African American pilots to fight in World War II. Appropriately nicknamed “Red Tails” because of the color of the P-51’s tail, they provided armed escort to bombers.
Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 1240 works in conjunction with Highland’s County School Board and Sebring Regional Airport to provide youth an education in aviation. Young men and women receive hands-on education through the EAA Young Eagles flights, workshops on maintenance and repairs on donated aircrafts.
Friday’s dinner is a major fundraiser for EAA. The proceeds will be used to fund programs as well as contribute to scholarships. Individual tickets are $50 or a table can be reserved for $500. Visit their website at www.eaa1240.org or contact John Rousch at 863-385-8107 for further details.