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On January 4, the U.S. Mint released the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site quarter. This special-issue coin is part of the America the Beautiful Quarters Program, which was launched in 2010 on the basis of the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008.

The Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site quarter is the final special-issue coin of the America the Beautiful Quarters Program. Image courtesy of the U.S. Mint.

“The Act called for the Mint to issue 56 quarter-dollar coins with reverse designs depicting national parks and other national sites in each state or territory and the District of Columbia,” the U.S. Mint said in a news release. The Tuskegee Airmen quarter is No. 56 and the final coin in the program.

The coin commemorates not only the African American pilots who began their flight training in the Army’s PT–17 Stearman biplane at Moton Field in Tuskegee, Alabama, but also technicians, radio operators, and other essential and diverse personnel around the airfield. “It is fitting that such a significant historic site will complete this successful coin program,” said Mint Director David J. Ryder. “The Mint is proud to honor the men and women who overcame segregation and prejudice to become one of the most highly respected fighter groups of World War II.”

The reverse side of the quarter shows a member of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II with the Moton Field control tower in the background and two P–51 Mustangs passing overhead. The inscription, “They fought two wars,” at the top of the image emphasizes that the Tuskegee Airmen not only fought in World War II, but also at home, where they faced racial discrimination. The coin’s front features the 1932 portrait of George Washington by John Flanagan.

“The design was created by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program Designer Chris Costello and sculpted by United States Mint Medallic Artist Phebe Hemphill,” the news release said.

The quarter can be purchased online.

Sylvia Schneider Horne

Media Production Specialist
Sylvia Schneider Horne is media production specialist for AOPA.
Topics: People

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