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The rumble of the P-51 Mustang engine is felt in the mobile theater and the aspect of the screen gives viewers a panoramic view of the sky above and the ground below.

The 30-minute film takes visitors on a tour of World War II and a portrait of men who at first were not deemed suitable for military service other than performing service tasks and support roles.

In 1942 that changed.

The documentary — Rise Above — notes command in Europe were hesitant to use the Tuskegee Airmen  but they made their way to North Africa and then Italy. They succeeded.

Today was the first day of the exhibit on the campus of Halifax Community College. It runs through Saturday.

For college President Michael Elam, who watched the documentary, it was inspiring. “It was awesome. It was so inspiring. Just what I imagined it would be.”

Since announcing last month the exhibit was coming to the college, Elam said 700 people have signed up and on Thursday 300 children are expected to visit.

That event coincides with another the college is hosting Thursday at 10 a.m. — Pink Scales, vice president of the Triangle/Triad Chapter of the Montford Point Marines Association.

Elam said for the school children awaiting their chance to view the Rise Above documentary there will rocketry demonstrations, a drone demonstration and Phi Theta Kappa will hold paper airplane contests.

The Commemorative Air Force Red Tails Squadron is bringing the story of the Tuskegee Airmen to the campus.

Rise Above was created by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and aviation cinema specialist Adam White of Hemlock Films, who also created the film Red Tail Reborn, documenting the two restorations of the CAF Red Tail Squadron P-51C Mustang named Tuskegee Airmen.

For more information, or to schedule an exhibit time, contact Molly Wallace, director of marketing and public relations, at 252-538-4319 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Montford Point Marines program

This program will focus on the history of the Montford Point Marines, and the contributions they made to the military and country.

“It is such a privilege to share the story of the Montford Point Marines, a history lesson that is too often overlooked,” said Elam. “This is a speaker no one should miss.”

The MPMA is a non-profit military veterans organization, founded to memorialize the legacy of the first African Americans to serve in the United States Marine Corps. The first African American U.S. Marines were trained at Camp Montford Point, in Jacksonville from 1942 to 1949.

Recruiting for the Montford Marines began on June 1, 1942. Thousands of African American men, eager to serve, flocked to recruiting offices. The first recruits received basic training at the segregated Camp Montford Point in Jacksonville. The 1,200 men in the quota were housed in prefabricated huts. By 1945, all drill instructors and many NCOs at Montford Point were African Americans.

Between 1942 and 1949, more than 20,000 men were trained at Montford Point. In July 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 9981, which required the desegregation of the military. In 1949, Montford Point was deactivated, and new recruits were sent to Parris Island and Camp Pendleton. During the Korean War, the United States Marine Corps fully integrated.

The MPMA was created in 1965 to honor the courage and bravery of those 20,000 recruits, who served their country honorably despite great adversity.

The event is free and open to the public.