Congressman Adriano Espaillat released the following statement in support of his bill, H.R. 4406, which designates the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 99 Macombs Place in New York, New York as the Tuskegee Airmen Post Office Building.
“The Tuskegee Airmen are known for breaking racial barriers in the military as the first all African-American pilot crew of the U.S. Army Air Corps (AAC), the predecessor of the U.S. Air Force,” said Rep. Espaillat. “Trained at the Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama, the Tuskegee Airmen flew more than 15,000 individual raids throughout Europe and North Africa during World War II. Their courage continued following their service as they returned home to lead the fight against racism and discrimination during Jim Crow in the South.
“I am proud to recognize the Tuskegee Airmen for their bravery, service to our country in the face of racism, and sacrifice and commitment to the U.S. armed forces by introducing this bill to rename the U.S. post office located at 99 Macombs Place in their honor. A symbolic gesture and tribute to the memory of each of the airmen who served, as no gesture compares to their contributions to this country,” he concluded.
Watch video of Rep. Espaillat before House passage of his bill, H.R. 4406, on the U.S. House Floor to rename the United States Postal Service located at 99 Macombs Place in New York, New York as the Tuskegee Airmen Post Office Building.
The Tuskegee Airmen was a popular name given to the first all-black squadron, activated into service by the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1941 during the peak of World War II. Among them, was a 26-year-old man of Dominican heritage, Second Lieutenant Esteban Hotesse (left). Mr. Hotesse migrated to the United States through Ellis Island at the age of 4 with his mother. He served as a pilot for the 619 squadron of the 447-bombardment group and served for three years with the Tuskegee Airmen before being killed during a military exercise in 1945. Due largely to the efforts and at the request of Rep. Espaillat, Mr. Hotesse will posthumously be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his service as a Tuskegee Airman. Further details and formal recognition will be announced later this spring.