Tuskegee Airmen: The Men Who Changed a Nationby Charles E. Francis, Adolph Caso, Adolph Caso
Dramatic & exciting as any adventure story ever written are the memories of every combat pilot. This narrative has a manifold purpose which has interwoven threads of deeds, actions, thoughts, & ideals into one composite story. It is not only the story of Negro airmen who went to war as members of the 99th Fighter Squadron & the 332nd Fighter Group as integral parts… See more details below
Dramatic & exciting as any adventure story ever written are the memories of every combat pilot. This narrative has a manifold purpose which has interwoven threads of deeds, actions, thoughts, & ideals into one composite story. It is not only the story of Negro airmen who went to war as members of the 99th Fighter Squadron & the 332nd Fighter Group as integral parts of the 12th & 15th Air Forces, but the story of the 477th Bombardment & Composite Groups that fought the battle on the home front by challenging the discrimination & segregation practices of the War Dept. & the nation during World War II. Photos.
- Branden Books
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- 6.10(w) x 8.98(h) x 1.04(d)
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He was all of 22 years when he was awarded the DFC. He was a very quiet young man (I now know why) and never, ever mentioned his life as a Tuskegee Airman. Although I was in their home so often as a young child and teenager (in the '40s), I never knew of his exploits and only learned of them a few years ago. I am so proud of him, even if so much later in life and to have known him personally. The movie "Red Tails", produced by George Lucas, is their story and is worthy of being seen. Heroes who endured so much ignominy before serving so well at what they were trained to do. For the ignominy alone, they were heroes. I tear up when I think of "Charlie" receiving the same medal first awarded to Capt. Charles A. Lindbergh. God rest your soul, Charlie. If only you knew your story was being told in theaters across the land and in books such as this one. And may God bless you for being so humble and for never seeking praise. We never knew. But you are being highly honored publicly....now. And we thank you....belatedly
Please note that this review covers the 5th Commemorative Edition of Tuskegee Airmen: The Men Who Changed A Nation by Charles E. Francis. This Edition, with a beautiful hardback litho cover, has been edited, revised, updated and enlarged by Adolph Caso and now includes, in addition to many personal and group pictures, 38 class pictures of the graduating Tuskegee Airmen.
This historical text is one of the most beautiful and best compiled narratives I have ever seen. Individual names of Airmen are carefully given both in the extensive tabular, narrative and pictorial appendices, as well as in the comprehensive chapters of the book¿s body. It was especially heartwarming to have a final chapter entitled ¿a forgotten lonely eagle¿ of the sky, which tells the story that after fifty years of searching, another Tuskegee hero had been found and his gravesite identified in the Sicily-Rome Cemetery, outside of Nettuno, Italy.
Who were these lonely eagles? Adolph Caso might be the only one who identified the Tuskegee Airmen as lonely eagles (p. 19); however, it surely is a phrase that can be used to identify the many, many men (and women) who were part of the Tuskegee experiment. The man who first comes to mind as a lonely eagle is General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. whose biography is listed in Chapter 24, Leaders of Men. While he was later recognized as one of the most outstanding members of the 99th and the 332nd, he was also the first Negro who was appointed to West Point Military and graduated in its 47 years of operation. And during that time, this lonely eagle ¿endured four years of silent treatment as a cadet.¿
The sad realization is that he is just the first man I thought of. In reality there was one lonely eagle after another forced to face one humiliation or rejection after another. Surely, the first chapter of Charles Francis¿ book tells it all: The Fight For The Right to Fight. In 1940 the U. S. Congress had passed the Selective Service Act ending discrimination in selection of recruits for the Armed Forces. Readers of the documentary will quickly see, however, that for young Black men, that did not mean that there was no further discrimination. In fact, one of the many things that was done to try to eliminate this discrimination was Eleanor Roosevelt flying with Chief Anderson at Moton Field. This is not to say that this was any great event, it is used here to show that the issue had been raised to the very top when she dryly stated, ¿I guess Negroes can fly.¿
This book gives governmental actions as well as personal accounts of the men who fought to become Airmen in support of our United States of America!
With the additional Preface and Prologue added by Editor Caso, the book tracks the lives of Americans, and in particular, Tuskegee Airmen African Americans* affected by war from about 1918 through to 2008 when the latest Edition pf The Tuskegee Airmen includes available official class pictures.
In my opinion, the perfect closing to the review of this documentary is from the back cover:
The Tuskegee airmen are to be credited for completing two phases of American history: the integration of its Armed Forces, and the integration of America as a nation. The crowning glory to this attainment can be seen in the many positions held by Black Americans in every Branch and Service of the Armed Forces all the way up to the presidency itself. ¿Adolph Caso