Today Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen joined Command Sergeant Major Kevin Stuart of Fort Detrick to present DOTA (Documented Original Tuskegee Airman) Major Edward J. Talbert, Retired Air Force Reserve, with a bronze reproduction of the Tuskegee Airmen’s Congressional Gold Medal. The original was presented in the Capitol Rotunda to some 300 Airmen in March 2007 and is now in the Smithsonian.
DOTA Major Talbert was part of the 332nd Fighter Wing, which entitles him to be documented as an Original Tuskegee Airman. He was based at Lockbourne Air Force Base from 1948 – 1950, which was the last base where African-American Army-Air Force members were assigned before the Air Force was integrated. He was the last person on the base and handed over the keys to the National Guard.
"DOTA Major Talbert served his country with distinction, even at a time when America did not honor his contributions the way it should have. The Tuskegee Airmen were brave and courageous in the face of huge challenges – not just on the battlefield, but within the military itself," said Congressman Van Hollen. "DOTA Major Talbert also had a front seat to an incredibly important moment in our history, handing over the keys of the last segregated Air Force base in 1950. It is a great privilege to honor his service today."
Congressman Van Hollen worked with the Talbert family to obtain the paperwork necessary to certify that he was a DOTA.