This was done... "to keep from offending anyone".
Methinks there were no members of the 332nd Fighter Group in attendance, or they would've torn the damn thing down and yelled the ears off whoever the organizer for this insult was.
This guy would've been mad, too - or any of the sailors on the nuke sub named after him. And probably this guy - who chose his name.
Update/Edit: It would be remiss if I ignored other times statues have been covered up/removed within the last few years for fear they would be "offensive".
In 2002, someone in the Bush Administration (not Ashcroft, according to the story) covered up the Spirit Of Justice. Whether it was because of "aesthetic" reasons or because somebody didn't like Justice raising the roof and showing off what her sculptor gave her... who knows. It was widely assumed that socially conservative Ashcroft had disliked the Tits of Justice, and for the Department of Justice to cover up a symbol of... JUSTICE seemed to be a rather ominous choice to make when adding "aesthetic" to a room that had never needed it before.
Then there's also the return of the bust of Churchill, done by a president who holds grudges that have been dead for a couple generations.
Rallied England to defeat Hitler, and he liked Bambi.