Anyone interested in learning about World War II may unfortunately overlook a special example of dedication, patriotism and bravery. The African-Americans who trained to be pilots at Tuskegee, Alabama, not only had to face the German Luftwaffe pilots in the skies over Europe during World War II but also had to deal with racism, distrust and segregation at home.
The U.S. was having a difficult time finding enough good pilots in the early days of World War II but one solution came from a small university called Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. African Americans were training there to become military pilots but most of the country definitely wasn't ready to accept any black pilot in the military.
Many traveled to Alabama from the big cities, such as New York City, Washington, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Detroit but others came from smaller towns across the country. Regardless of where they were from, these brave men answered the call and became some of the best combat pilots that the United States ever produced.
The Tuskegee Airmen were both feared and respected by the German pilots, who called them the "Schwartze Voglemenschen" or "Black Birdmen." They were revered by their fellow airmen as the "Redtails" or the "Redtail Angels" because of their distinctive red-tailed aircraft as well as their success in safely defending Allied bombers and destroying enemy targets.
The Tuskegee Airmen, however, were more than that because they were the first black military airmen at a time when there were many people who thought that black men lacked intelligence, skill, courage and patriotism. Although these men faced harsh, frequent criticism and received little support, they proved they could fly and maintain military aircraft better than virtually anyone else.
This third edition of The Tuskegee Airmen Story includes new information on the 477th Bombardment Group as well as the Freeman Field Mutiny. It also has expanded information on the 99th Fighter Squadron and the 332nd Fighter Group.
-- CONTENTS --
- Blacks Cannot Fly And Other Nonsense
- Persistence Of Segregation
- Training For War
- Preparing For War
- The Mediterranean Theater
- The 99th And The Sicilian Campaign
- The Critics Return
- The 99th Joins The 79th Fighter Group
- The 332nd Fighter Group
- The 332nd Moves To Ramitelli
- On To Inevitable Victory
- The 477th Bombardment Group
- The Post-war Years
- Photogaphy of Tony Frissell