Country: United States
Branch: United States Army Air Corps
Role: Fighter unit Nickname: Red Tails War: WWII
The army was racially segregated and the airmen were discriminated both inside and outside of the army. Many at the time were told to go home and that they didn’t belong in the army. April 1941 months before the United States entered World War II, Eleanor Roosevelt visited Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama, where the Tuskegee airmen had been training. Photos and film that came out of the 40-minute flight convinced people to power and support the creation of a black fighter group. The Tuskegee airmen group of African-American pilots who fought in WWII. They were the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Corps. African American servicemen were not allowed to learn to fly until 1941, when African American college graduates were selected for what the Army called ‘an experiment’ to see if African Americans could be trained to fly combat aircraft which lead to the creation of the segregated 99th Fighter Squadron. They trained at the air field in Alabama’s Tuskegee’s Institute. For every African American pilot there were 10 other African American citizen, officer and men and women on ground duty. The group got their nickname “red tails” or “red tail angels” by the painted red on the back of plane. ‘Angels’ because of the bravery the men showed in being an escort for heavy bombers and safely guiding them safely in and over Germany. The first combat mission for the 99th Fighter Squadron was in North Africa during April 1943. 99th Fighter Squadron earned three Distinguished Unit Citations (DUC) during World War II. The only airmen units that saw combat during the war were the 99th Pursuit Squadron and the 332nd Fighter Group. The dive-bombing missions under Lieutenant Colonel Davis, Jr. were highly successful. The airmen units only lost 248 men during the years at war....
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