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Tuskegee Airmen mural arrives at Rickenbacker

A vibrant mural depicting the Tuskegee Airmen with various military aircraft and personnel.

Mural photos

COLUMBUS, OH – Columbus Regional Airport Authority (CRAA) President & CEO Joseph R. Nardone today announced the completion of a larger-than-life mural, painted by local artist Adam Hernandez, honoring the Tuskegee Airmen at the Tuskegee Airmen Memorial at Rickenbacker International Airport. Following World War II, the famed pilots were stationed at what is now Rickenbacker International Airport between 1946-1949.

“Originally the idea of an airport employee, this mural represents part of our rich aviation heritage here in Central Ohio,” said Nardone. “We hope this expanded memorial celebrating the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen will inspire visitors.”

Officials with CRAA issued a call to artist proposals in December 2023.  A total of 25 letters of interest were submitted and the selection committee chose artist Hernandez’s design.

Prominently featuring base commander Col. Benjamin Davis Jr., the mural reflects the airmen’s courage and patriotism. Many know these airmen as the “Red Tails,” a nickname acquired from the deep red painted tails of their fighter planes that are also featured.

The mural by the numbers

  • 6 months to plan, sketch, and paint the mural
  • 19 different colors
  • 20 gallons of paint
  • 3 ladders
  • 2 artist assistants
  • 20+ paintbrushes
  • 39 feet wide
  • 9 feet tall

Visiting the Tuskegee Airmen Memorial

Follow signs on Alum Creek Drive to the Cell Phone Waiting Lot at Rickenbacker International Airport, 7400 Alum Creek Dr. Columbus, Ohio 43217. The memorial is adjacent to the air traffic control tower and is open to the public at any time.

About the Artist

Adam Hernandez is a professional artist, muralist, and designer.

With 12+ years of experience, Hernandez has expertise in creating public art, working through commercial partnerships, and exhibiting in the gallery setting. Adam is a passionate advocate for the Latine artist’s voice.

About Rickenbacker International Airport

Rickenbacker International Airport (LCK) is one of the world’s only cargo-focused airports, moving airfreight between planes and trucks faster than any other global gateway. Rickenbacker is strategically located within a 10-hour drive of 45% of the US and a third of the Canadian population, offering a regional geographic advantage. Rickenbacker supports the world’s largest aircraft, while also offering a wide range of scalable services for all aircraft types, including corporate, general aviation, commercial, air freight, and military. The Columbus Regional Airport Authority connects Ohio with the world by managing and operating Rickenbacker Airport as well as passenger-focused John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH), and general aviation airport Bolton Field (TZR). Connect with CRAA online.

About CRAA

The Columbus Regional Airport Authority connects Ohio with the world by managing and operating passenger-focused John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH), cargo-focused Rickenbacker International Airport (LCK), and general aviation airport Bolton Field (TZR). Columbus travelers have access to 53 nonstop destinations via CMH and LCK, more than ever before in airport history. Visit our destinations page to see where we’re flying and stay connected with CRAA online.

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