South Carolina Legislature


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Session 111 (1995-1996)

S*1203(Rat #0272, Act #0508 of 1996)  Joint Resolution, By Washington, 
Alexander, S. Boan, Bryan, Cork, Courson, Courtney, Drummond, Elliott, Fair, 
Ford, Giese, Glover, Gregory, Hayes, Holland, Jackson, Land, Lander, Leatherman, 
Leventis, Martin, Matthews, McConnell, McGill, Mescher, Moore, O'Dell, 
Passailaigue, Patterson, Peeler, Rankin, Reese, L.E. Richter, M.T. Rose, 
Russell, Ryberg, Saleeby, Setzler, Short, G. Smith, J.V. Smith, Thomas, Waldrep and 
 A Joint Resolution to establish a monument for recognition of the
 accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen to be erected on the grounds of the
 Walterboro Airfield, and to create a Commission to select the design and
 placement of the monument.

   02/29/96  Senate Introduced, read first time, placed on calendar
                     without reference SJ-7
   03/05/96  Senate Read second time SJ-13
   03/06/96  Senate Read third time and sent to House SJ-25
   03/07/96  House  Introduced and read first time HJ-6
   03/07/96  House  Referred to Committee on Ways and Means HJ-6
   03/07/96  House  Recalled from Committee on Ways and Means HJ-14
   03/12/96  House  Read second time HJ-11
   03/13/96  House  Read third time and enrolled HJ-19
   03/26/96         Ratified R 272
   04/01/96         Signed By Governor
   04/01/96         Effective date 04/01/96
   04/09/96         Copies available
   08/29/96         Act No. 508

(A508, R272, S1203)


Whereas, the State of South Carolina, as a matter of state policy, has a long-standing history of erecting various monuments to honor the contributions of various individuals and groups to the state's history; and

Whereas, the Tuskegee Airmen (99th Pursuit Squadron) distinguished themselves as an elite and highly skilled bomber escort and fighter unit during World War II; and

Whereas, South Carolina claims the unique honor and distinction of serving as home to the honorable Ernest Henderson, Sr., training instructor for the 99th Pursuit Squadron; and

Whereas, the presence of the Walterboro Airfield, which housed the 553rd bomber group and served as a training field for replacement pilots for the 332nd fighter group, and the residence of Mr. Ernest Henderson, Sr., give South Carolina a direct link to the historical contributions of the Tuskegee Airmen to both the Nation and the World; and

Whereas, the Tuskegee Airmen overcame seemingly insurmountable odds in the form of pervasive racial and legal impediments during the World War II era in order to make their contribution; and

Whereas, the accomplishments of the courageousNext African American pilots of the 99th Pursuit Squadron, as the airmen were officially known, are world-renowned; and

Whereas, the achievements of the 99th Pursuit Squadron in combat include, but are not limited to: destruction of 111 aircraft (in the air), destruction of 150 aircraft (on the ground), destruction of 16 barges and boats, 58 box cars and other rolling stock, 57 locomotives, 1 radar installation, 2 oil and ammunition dumps; and

Whereas, the 99th Pursuit Squadron was instrumental and played a pivotal role in numerous difficult and dangerous missions including serving as wingmen on a strafing mission against the heavily fortified island of Pantelleria, and escorting 16 B-25 bombers in bombing raids against the Castelvetrano Airfield on the island of Sicily; and

Whereas, the 99th Pursuit Squadron emersed an exemplary record during World War II, having flown a grand total of 1,578 missions and over 15,533 sorties; and

Whereas, the 99th Pursuit Squadron is a highly decorated military unit having had conferred upon its members: 1 Legion of Merit (military award conferred by the President), 1 Silver Star (by the United States for gallantry in action), 2 Soldier Medals (by U.S. for heroism or exceptional service in aerial combat), 14 Bronze Stars (by U.S. for valor, decoration for PreviouscourageNext), 740 air medals and clusters (by U.S. for meritorious achievement while flying); and

Whereas, some official symbol should be placed which recognizes the valuable and unique contributions of these gallant, Previouscourageous, and honorable African Americans to the rich heritage of our State and country; and

Whereas, the placement of a permanent monument on the Walterboro Airfield grounds is the most visible and suitable means of official recognition. Now, therefore,

Be it resolved by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

Tuskegee Airmen Monument

SECTION 1. There is hereby established on the grounds of the Walterboro Airfield a Tuskegee Airmen Monument. The design and placement of the monument shall be determined by the commission appointed pursuant to Section 2 of this resolution.

Tuskegee Airmen Monument Commission

SECTION 2. (A) A Tuskegee Airmen Monument Commission is hereby created to determine the design of the monument and to determine the placement of the monument on the Walterboro Airfield grounds and to ensure that the monument is properly placed in a prominent place on the airfield. The commission is empowered and directed to raise private funds and to receive gifts and grants to carry out the purpose for which it is created. Upon the dedication of this monument, the commission shall dissolve.

(B) The membership of the commission shall be comprised of the following individuals:

(1) the State Veteran's Affairs Officer;

(2) the Chairman of the Colleton County Airport Authority;

(3) one member of the House of Representatives representing the Colleton County Legislative Delegation, to be appointed by the Speaker of the House;

(4) one member of the Senate representing the Colleton County Legislative Delegation, to be appointed by the President Pro Tempore; and

(5) one member of the Colleton County Council, designated by the Chairman of the Colleton County Council.

Time effective

SECTION 3. This joint resolution takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

Approved the 1st day of April, 1996.

Legislative Services Agency
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