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A Dream Come True

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If you are a fan of Southwest Airlines, you are aware of the fact that, of our 512 airplanes, there are a number of them with various signatures attached to them. The more recognizable signature airplanes are the ones painted like Shamu or with a flag of the states that we serve.                                                                                                                                                                                                  gordon-lou-freeman.jpg From a personal standpoint, I had a vision that one day one of our Southwest Airlines signature airplanes would represent the world renowned Tuskegee Airmen of WWII, by painting the tail of one of our airplanes red like the Tuskegee Airmen did to their P-51 Mustangs.                                                                                        gordon-tuskegee.jpgI know that this would be asking a lot of the Company but Southwest Airlines has supported Tuskegee Airmen Inc. for many years, so what's one red tail...? Just kidding it was just a vision.   However...                                                                         gordon-herb-with-tuskegee.jpg The 36th Annual Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. National Convention was held in the Dallas area this year, and Southwest Airlines was the leading Corporate Sponsor for the Convention. Southwest Airlines held a welcoming ceremony for the Tuskegee Airmen at the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Love Field Airport, and this was a day that I will remember for the rest of my life.                                   gordon-group-shot.jpg This is the day that a dream came true for a number of our Employees. Southwest unveiled a decal that was installed on one of our 737s to salute the Tuskegee Airmen for their service to our country during WWII, for the stellar military record that they achieved during the war, and for being recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal. Aircraft N288WN is our latest signature airplane, and it will fly in our fleet with the decal for one year, so be on the look out for it. Although it doesn't have a red tail, it's a dream come true none the less.
13 Comments
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Good on you SWA for honoring the Tuskegee Airmen. I know one of the Tuskegee Airmen where I live and he was honored recently at the White House by Mr. Bush. He is a great man who, like many African-Americans, Native Americans, and Japanese Americans who served during W.W. II, had to put up with petty racism from other soldiers and airmen. This is just another example that SWA's corporate heart is in the right place. I will keep me eyes peeled for this jet.
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Very nice! Something I would LUV to see Southwest do is paint a pink ribbon on an aircraft (or more than one) in honor & memory of those with breast cancer.
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Gordon Drew tears to my eyes. Southwest Airlines flies in great company with that tail. The Tuskegee Airmen have been heroes of mine ever since I got to interview two for the Wall Street Journal years ago. Bet , for different reasons, that Thelton Henderson and T. Scott Gross would have flown into celebrate with them This is a story I will share with others Kudos Kare Anderson
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This is terrific! I'll be looking for it at my "house."
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Why is the decal only going to be displayed for one year?
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Gordon - I know how close to your heart this is and I loved seeing your smile in the picture with the plane. What a great honor for the Tuskegee Airmen. Glad you could be a part of it! Hope all is well with you..miss you guys!! Shannon Russell
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While it is terrific that SW wants to honor the Tuskegee Airmen, I am wondering if this was the 1940's, if they would have even allowed these individuals to fly SW. Today, for the third time, someone was threatened with being thrown off the plane because of their attire. What is wrong with you people? If they had NO attire, I could see a problem. Or if they had a racial slur, okay, that I can see as a basis for hassling a customer. But short of that, be it a four letter word, politically incorrect statement about anyone from Bush to one of the Clinton's, short skirt or scoop necked top - leave these people alone and fly the plane. By saying that an individual cannot fly because someone else is unhappy or dislikes what they have on, how is this different from the days when people refused to sit next to someone simply because of their race.
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Kathleen, I cannot believe you have the gall to say what you did. One cannot change one's skin color. One is not obliged to wear a disgusting T-shirt or a skirt that reveals London, France, and other geographic entities; something else can be worn. End of story.
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I would like to see a image of that airplane with the special tail, please?
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Carl, SWA, decal planes as a tribute to honorees and we dedicate planes to different causes each year. They are rotated to give more folks a chance to be honored. Thanks
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Hi: I was told by your customer service person to leave a comment here. I was preparing this morning to check in for tomorrow's flight online (Flt. 493 at 8:10a PDT on 10/17). At exactly 8:10a I tried to check in and was told that due to policies, fare rules, etc., that I could not check-in. Certainly not every online-allotted boarding pass for that flight was given out in the first few seconds of availability. I tried several times to no avail. SWA customer service said there was nothing else they could do, they have no access to the internet, they could not put a request in my record, etc. This is unacceptable. They also said I could go to the airport to check in...but the airport is over an hour away. Not much help. I stopped flying American West/USAir quite awhile back because of their "attitude" after the merger and I have been quite satisified with SWA up until now. I fly SWA fairly frequently and my travel schedule will be significantly increasing in 2008. IBut if this is going to occur regularly, I guess I will have to look toward some other airlines to meet my needs. Thanks, Marty McLaughlin mrm1955@aol.com
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We did submit a Southwest 737 paint scheme with a red tail design, and I heard Herb Kelleher really liked it. But unfortuantely the number of planes with special designs are limited and apparently the red tail design didn't get the corporate approval to move forward. If anyone would like a copy of this design, please just e-mail me at Rob@HighFlyersAviation.com. I'm with the Chicago "Dodo" Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen.
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My dad, Ralph Junior Morgan was a Marauder Man serving in the Battle of the Bulge out of England in a B-26B twin engine bomber. 558th was his bomber group in the 8th Army Air Force and he was a radio operator and gunner. He told me that as long as the Tuskegee Airmen accompanied their formations, there were no planes or crews lost and that he finally got a chance one day at Wright-Pat in Dayton to thank some of the gentlemen of that group in person. Dad said that they told him that that was something that none of the people they had escorted had ever done before. Through his tears, the distinguished gentlemen he spoke with were in awe of his respect and compassion. He told them that he and his whole bomber group owed them their lives. Dad passed away August 24, 2007 in Springfield, Ohio, aged 83 and 1/2 years serving the Lord here in mortality and he is in a high flight now, serving his beloved Maker and Messiah.