New mural and Grissom Air Museum’s newest exhibit celebrates “Hometown Heroes”

Art, Local Attractions

If you have visited downtown Kokomo recently, you might have noticed a new mural as you make your way on Main Street.  What makes this mural special is that it depicts five portraits of Tuskegee Airmen from Howard County who served in World War II: Gordon Morgan, Sgt. Andrew T. Dunnigan, Lt. John McClure, Lt. Col. Bennett Hardy and Maj. John Cunningham. It’s part of a new initiative to honor “Hometown Heroes” within Howard County.

The Arts Federation (TAF) and the Howard County Memorial Corporation (HCMC) organized this artistic endeavor as a way to show a significant side of history to the community through a dynamic art piece created by Texas artist Malcom Byers.

“It is truly an honor to have the support and expertise of TAF to fortify our efforts and execute this mural project,” HCMC Vice President Robin Williams said. “The incredible artistry of Malcolm Byers, coupled with project management from The Arts Federation will ensure that this project will make a visual and historical impact in our community.”

Not only does the mural serve as a visually-stunning reminder of our local heroes, it serves as a preview for the new Grissom Air Museum’s “TUSKEGEE AIRMEN: America’s Freedom Flyers” exhibit, which will be travelling across the nation.

The new exhibit is a collection of artifacts and history about all Tuskegee Airmen, their experience, and their legacy. A section of the exhibit highlights the five airmen featured in the downtown Kokomo mural. The exhibit opened on Memorial Day, May 27, 2024, where living relatives and friends of the heroes paid a visit to honor their loved ones who served.

The Grissom Air Museum is located just north of Kokomo at 1000 W. Hoosier Blvd., Peru, Indiana and is open daily from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. now through Labor Day and select days through the end of the year.

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