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Who were the Tuskegee airman?

Updated: 8/22/2023
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12y ago

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Black servicemen of the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) who trained at Alabama's Tuskegee Army Air Field in World War II. They constituted the first African American flying unit in the U.S. military. The first class trained at Tuskegee in 1941 became the 99th Pursuit Squadron, commanded by Lt. Col. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.. They flew their first mission in the Mediterranean in 1943. Later that year the army activated three more squadrons; joined with the 99th in 1944, they constituted the 332nd Fighter Group. The latter was the USAAF's only escort group that did not lose a bomber to enemy planes. A second black flying group, the 477th Bombardment Group, was established near the end of the war. In all, the Tuskegee Airmen flew 1,578 missions, destroyed 261 enemy aircraft, and won over 850 medals. (Britannica Concise Encyclopedia).

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The claim that they were the "only escort group that did not lose a bomber to enemy planes" however is not true. Detailed studying of post-mission reports conducted as late as 2006 show that about 25 bombers were lost to enemy fighters.

However this does not in any way detract from what was an exemplary service record by a much decorated and highly honoured group, who had a success rate in protecting bombers that was, at it's worst, as good as any other escort squadron.

Some bomber squadrons (perhaps not influenced by racial prejudice?), actually requested the "red-tailed angels" (so named as the tails on their planes were painted red) as escorts due to their excellent record in protecting the bombers they were escorting.

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12y ago
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12y ago

the Tuskegee air men were the first black people to fly in War World II

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10y ago

I dont know about all of the Tuskeegee airman but I do know Walter Crenshaw is still alive at 104 years old.

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12y ago

josh dumolin and stephany valladres

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14y ago

Josh Dumolin, Stephany Valladares,

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