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Tuskegee Airmen meet bomber they escorted

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BIG FLATS, N.Y. (KNOE 8 News/AP) - A Memorial Day weekend gathering of some of the last surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen has reunited them with a World War II bomber pilot their unit escorted on a famous mission over Germany.

95-year-old Bill Strapko of North Tonawanda, New York, was invited to Saturday's Return of the Red Tails celebration at the Wings of Eagles Discovery Center in Big Flats, near Elmira.

Six former Tuskegee Airmen, America's first black military pilots, attended the event. Among them was 92-year-old Roscoe C. Brown Jr. of New York City, commander of the fighter squadron that escorted Strapko's formation of B-17's during a bombing mission to Berlin in March 1945.

When Strapko and Brown met Saturday, they shook hands and grabbed each other's shoulders.

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