In honor of their service and as part of Black History Month, Wendell Freeland and Dr. Harry Lanauze were invited to their first NHL hockey game and had the chance to see the Pens win 8-1. During a time out, the two were presented with honorary Penguins jerseys, their last names inscribed on the backs.
Freeland, a Pittsburgh attorney, and Lanauze, a doctor from McKeesport, were members of the , legendary black fighter pilots of World War II. At least 80 people served from this region including eight from Sewickley.
A Sewickley-based group, the , is working to build a memorial in the Sewickley Cemetery to honor those who served in the combat unit. Lanauze was in in November during the groundbreaking ceremony for the memorial.
Surviving members of the all-black unit were also honored Feb. 2 at the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center in Pittsburgh.