Who were the Tuskegee Airmen?
Tuskeegee Airmen is the term used to describe the black fighter pilots of the 99th Pursuit Squadron, later incorporated into the 332nd Fighter Group, who fought during World War II in the U.S. Army Air Corps that were trained at Tuskegee Army Air Field, Tuskegee, Alabama.
A Look At The History and Accomplishments of the
Students of history interested in learning about World War II often miss an unparalleled feat of patriotism and bravery usually ignored in most history textbooks. Like the exploits of Americans of Japanese ancestry in the U.S. Army during World War II, the combat achievements of the Black pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group, a.k.a. the Tuskeegee Airmen, is another shining example of men overcoming prejudice and discrimination in the 1940's to make their mark in history.
About 1,000 Americans of African ancestry completed their flight training at Tuskegee Army Air Field. Despite initial obstacles, 445 went oversees as combat pilots in the European Theater of Operations, North Africa and the Mediterranean. Flying "bomber escort" and ground attack on 15,533 sorties between May, 1943 and June 9, 1945, the Tuskegee Airmen compiled an enviable Tuskegee Record None of the bombers they escorted was lost to enemy fighters, they destroyed 251 enemy aircraft and won more than 850 medals. Their record was not without losses, however, with sixty-six (66) Tuskegee Airmen killed in action.
The legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen was the eventual desegregation of the USAF, the recognition that black pilots were equal to white pilots and the respect and admiration earned by former Tuskegee pilots like General Benjamin Davis, Jr. and General Daniel "Chappie" James.