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.
After more than fifty years, the history of the Tuskegee Airmen is still quite obscure. The name refers to the young Black pilots who received flight training at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama during and shortly after World War II. The Tuskegee Army Air Field was the only training facility for Basic and Advanced Flight Training for Black pilots of the U.S. Army Air Force.
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, Known as 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 USSAF, 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.
End of of an era
The Tuskegee Airmen chapters
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