Green River College to host Legends of Aviation

Green River College will host pilots from two legendary World War II aviation groups at 6 p.m. April 12 in the Mel Lindbloom Student Union, Gator Hall.

The event, titled “Legends of Aviation,” will feature keynote addresses from Tuskegee Airman and WWII veteran Ted Lumpkin, and Women Airforce Service Pilot Elizabeth “Betty” Dybbro. The event is free and open to the public and will include a cake cutting ceremony and light refreshments.

According to Constantin Fehling, Green River Aviation student and vice president of the Green Tails Aviation Club, this is a chance for the Green River community to hear firsthand from WWII veterans.

“Aviation is our passion, so whenever we can talk to pilots we jump at it,” Fehling said. “This is living history. It’s an honor to get the chance to hear their stories and about the challenges they faced.”

Lumpkin, 97, joined the United States Army Air Forces in 1946. He served overseas in Italy during WWII as a member of the 100th Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group. The 332nd Fighter Group—along with the 477th Bombardment Group—was among the first African-American military pilots and made up the famed Tuskegee Airmen. Lumpkin retired from the Active Air Force Reserves in 1979 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Dybbro, 94, volunteered to fly for the Army Air Force during WWII as a Women Airforce Service Pilot. WASPs were the first women in history trained to fly American military aircraft. They ferried planes across the country, hauled targets for shooting practice and performed other stateside flying duties.

The event is sponsored by the Green Tails Aviation Club, with support from the Green River College Foundation, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Alaskan Airlines, Western Region Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. and the Civil Air Patrol.

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