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Teen flying to honor Tuskegee Airmen

July 1, 2009 at 12:22 PM
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AUSTIN, Texas, July 1 (UPI) -- A 15-year-old girl says she is flying a single-engine Cessna from Compton, Calif., to Newport News, Va., to honor the accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Kimberly Anyadike said during a stopover Tuesday in Austin, Texas, the African-American World War II combat pilots were representative of the determination needed to succeed in life, the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman reported Wednesday.

"You have to be determined in everything that you want to do. No matter what you want to do, just follow your heart. The sky is no longer the limit," Anyadike said.

The teenage pilot is set to become the youngest black female pilot to have successfully flown across the country once she reaches concludes half her roundtrip Saturday.

Former Tuskegee Airman retired Maj. Levi Thornhill is flying beside Anyadike and the WWII hero said the teen appears to truly love flying.

"I know why she smiles a lot," Thornhill told the American-Statesman. "Anybody who has flown will tell you that it doesn't get any better than this."

The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of black U.S. pilots during World War II who received a Congressional Gold Medal in 2007 for their military efforts and for helping bring about military desegregation.

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