San Diego

Restored P-51D Mustang, Flown by Tuskegee Airman During WWII, Unveiled

A fully restored P-51D Mustang, flown by the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II, was unveiled in San Diego Saturday.

Following nearly two years of reconstruction work, the celebrated fighter plan was unveiled during a celebration at San Diego’s Gillespie Field in El Cajon. Its next stop will be at its new home at The National WWII Museum in New Orleans.

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military pilots who fought in any war for the U.S. 

WWII veterans General Robert Cardenas and Tuskegee Airmen Claude Rowe and Nelson Robinson joined the museum’s Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer Stephen Watson to unveil the plane.

Robinson said he had heard about the 99th fighter squadron, but never realized he would be a part of it. 

"I was fresh out of school, I was soon promoted to PFC, I got one stripe, and I thought I was a tough dude with one stripe, you know, that's moving up," Robinson said.

He said his time as crew chief was a lot of fun, but also a great responsibility. 

"That was one of the best things that ever happened to me," he said.

The reconstruction of the plane, dubbed "Bunny, Miss Kentucky State", took two years. 

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