RISE ABOVE: Tuskegee Airmen & WASP Exhibit

Presented by Dogwood Social House

Inspiring young people to RISE ABOVE adversity using the lessons and stories of the Tuskegee Airmen and Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), this one-of-a-kind exhibit features an informative display and a mobile movie theater.

Pay tribute to the legendary Tuskegee Airmen and WASP who triumphed over discrimination and the enemy in World War II to defend our country's freedoms. The display is dedicated to educating audiences about the history and legacy of these brave service members.

This incredible exhibit's features are sure to be a hit with all ages.

Get into the pilot's seat, figuratively, in one of two short documentary-style movies in an air-conditioned mobile theater

A large mobile theater presents the original panoramic films “Rise Above: Red Tail,” documenting the inspirational history of the Tuskegee Airmen and “Rise Above: WASP”, documenting the inspirational history of the WASP.

The climate-controlled exhibit is equipped with a hydraulic lift to ensure access to all and can comfortably accommodate 30 visitors for each showing. The RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit is certain to bring the message of the Tuskegee Airmen and the WASP “off the tarmac” at O'Fallon's Heritage & Freedom Fest.

The museum presents the often-overlooked history of the Tuskegee Airmen.
Watch a short film in the air-conditioned theater.
Mustang and exhibit courtesy by the Commerative Air Force
Children visit the RISE ABOVE traveling exhibit


  • What exactly is a Tuskegee Airman?

    Tuskegee Airmen is the name given to members of the U.S. Army Air Force units in World War II that were comprised primarily of African American flyers and maintenance crews, though a few white officers and trainers were also involved. The group compiled an impressive record, primarily in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, despite facing frequent resistance to their presence in the formerly all-white Army Air Corps.

    The pilots and support personnel – both military and civilian, male and female – that served with the segregated 332nd Fighter Group and 477th Bombardment Group during World War II and before the integration of the Armed Forces are considered Tuskegee Airmen. The name originates from the segregated flying training program at Tuskegee Institute Army Air Corps Program, a unit at Tuskegee Army Air Field, located in Tuskegee, Alabama.

  • What are the "Red Tails?"
    “Red Tails” was a nickname given to the Tuskegee Airmen during their time in service during World War II. It evolved from the bomber pilots referring to their Tuskegee Airmen fighter escorts as Red Tail Angels because of their reputation and record for keeping the bombers safe on their dangerous missions over enemy territory.
  • Who were the WASP?

    The WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) were female pilots who volunteered to fly American military airplanes during World War II. At the time, it was thought that women would be incapable of flying such advanced airplanes – and that they should not be involved in the military in any aviation capacity. But there was a serious shortage of available pilots on the homefront. Many female pilots wanted to help; in order to do this, they needed to convince the top brass that they could do it. To serve their country, these courageous women overcame the challenges raised by those who believed women couldn’t fly.

    The WASP program was formed by combining the WAFS (Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron) and the WFTD (Women’s Flying Training Detachment), two units that were set up separately to allow female pilots to support the activities of the military. They were combined as the WASP Program in July 1943.

  • What types of airplanes did WASP fly?
    The WASP flew nearly every type of airplane in the U.S. military’s inventory at the time; a few, highly-qualified women, even did test flights in rocket and jet powered airplanes. It was assessed by the military that the women flew more than 78 different types of airplanes, for a total of more than sixty million miles.
  • What time is RISE ABOVE open at Heritage & Freedom Fest?
    The exhibit is open on July 2 from 4–9:30 p.m., July 3 from 4–10:30 p.m. and July 4 from Noon – 9:30 p.m.
  • How much does it cost to watch the movies?
    There is no cost. Take a break from the heat and watch the short films, "RISE ABOVE: Red Tail" and "RISE ABOVE: WASP," in the 53' onsite air-conditioned theater.

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