Interstate 65 to be renamed in honor of Tuskegee Airmen

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A section of Interstate 65 through Bartholomew County will be renamed in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen.

An official ceremony celebrating the renaming will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Columbus Municipal Airport, 4770 Ray Boll Blvd.

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American aviators in U.S. history, winning a double victory over fascism overseas and racism at home during World War II.

The Indianapolis Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen Inc. had requested the Indiana Legislature rename a portion of I-65 and renaming the section between Seymour to Johnson County as approved in House Concurrent Resolution No. 56.

Dozens of former Tuskegee Airmen who trained at Atterbury Air Base in Columbus during World War II returned to the airport in August 1997 for the dedication of a historical marker marking their service at the local base. The Tuskegee Airmen also trained at Freeman Field in Seymour and there are two monuments at the Seymour airport, marking the time they spent here in the winter and spring of 1945.

The Tuskegee Airmen were collectively recognized with the Congressional Gold Medal in 2007.

The event honoring the airmen will be at the airport’s main hangar next to the airport terminal. There are no original Tuskegee airman currently scheduled to attend this event.