Wreckage from Tuskegee Airmen plane crash on display at Detroit museum

Tuskegee Airmen National Historical Museum is in Detroit

Tuskegee Airmen plane crash wreckage now on display at Detroit museum
Tuskegee Airmen plane crash wreckage now on display at Detroit museum

DETROIT – Wreckage from a plane crash that happened decades ago is now on display at a Detroit museum with a very rich history.

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Tuskegee Airmen. Wreckage from a plane crash that happened in 1943 was discovered in a lake near Port Huron.

Dr. Brian Smith was one of the divers who helped recover parts of the wreckage. It now can be viewed at the The Tuskegee Airmen National Museum near City Airport. Smith serves as CEO.

The Tuskegee Airmen trained for war at Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

“The Tuskegee Airmen came to Selfridge because the area and the Great Lakes very much simulates the coast of France as well as the weather patterns,” Smith said.

Smith said finding the pieces of the wreckage was an emotional experience.

“My first dive on the wreck was quite sad and ... Just to be underwater and look at his wreckage and imagine what was going through his mind as the airplane malfunctioned and he lost control. What was he thinking?” Smith said.



2021 is an important year in Tuskegee Airman history. It makes 80 years since the pilots were first activated. Smith continues to preserve their legacy.

“To honor the heroes, the Tuskegee Airmen who sacrificed their life in hopes that America would treat them like real men,” Smith said.

You can learn more about the history of the Tuskegee Airmen at The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

The Tuskegee Airmen National Museum offers education programs for children.


About the Authors:

Evrod Cassimy is the morning anchor for Local 4 News Today. He joined WDIV in August of 2013. He is an award winning journalist and a six-time Emmy Award nominee. Evrod was born in Michigan but grew up in the Chicagoland area.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.