Coca-Cola Company’s “Share Your Service Story” project presents people with the challenge of creating an interactive display with Coca-Cola products to honor servicemen and women. One recent showcase honored Tuskegee Airman Charles B. Hall.
Our Honoree for February
In celebration of Black History Month, we decided to honor this renowned serviceman at the Navy base commissary. Upon entering the lobby, the first thing you’ll see is the main display, which features his story and an airplane that Ed Cola made with a spinning propeller. Ed Cola, a merchandiser that has been with the company for 19 years, and Bobby Odum, a sales relief supervisor, are responsible for setting up the displays and making this story come to life with the leadership and guidance of Bobby Calamusa, the area manager. Throughout the store, there are easels at each of the five Coca-Cola displays showcasing the progression of Hall’s heroic story.
One of the goals of the project was to get the men and the women on the Navy base involved in the Coca-Cola Share Your Service Story scholarship program while also telling Hall’s story. This unique project was designed specifically for the commissary.
The Remarkable Story of Charles B. Hall
Coca-Cola chose to honor Hall for his incredible achievements, not least of which is his title as the first African-American to take down an enemy aircraft in World War II. Hall entered the armed forces through President Roosevelt’s pilot training program for African Americans in Tuskegee, Alabama. Previously, African Americans were not permitted access to the front lines, so this pilot training program was revolutionary. By the end of the war, Hall was promoted to major and became the first African-American to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Even after flying nearly 200 combat missions during his military career, Hall was known to be a quiet, humble man who rarely spoke of his incredible achievements.
We think Hall is the perfect honoree for Black History Month, and we deeply appreciate his service to this great country.
We would like to thank Bobby Odum for taking the lead on this project. We also would like to extend a special thanks to Jessica Strider and Ed Cola for their assistance. This was a great team effort between our people at New Orleans Coca-Cola and our customers!