The only African-American pilots in combat within the Army Air Forces during World War II believed they had something to prove. They knew that if they performed well in battle, the decision to accept them in a role from which they had previously been excluded would be vindicated. Excellent combat performance would also contribute to expanding opportunities for African Americans, not only in the armed forces of the United States, but in American society as a whole.
The Tuskegee airmen were dedicated, devoted, and diligent young men who enlisted in the US army so that they could be America’s first black military airmen and prove wrong the Americans discriminative view that black people were short of intellect and patriotism. These men came from all over the United States such as New York City, Washington, LA, Chicago, Philadelphia and Detroit. Picture 3
Those who had the mental and physical qualities required were accepted as aviation cadets to be trained primarily as single-engine pilots and later to be either twin-engine pilots, navigators or bombardiers. Others showed their strength academically by participating in comprehensive entrance exams. The standards were the same for all pilots and any others who trained in operations, meteorology, intelligence, engineering, medicine or any other officer fields. Those enlisted were trained to be aircraft and engineer mechanics, armament specialists, radio repairmen, parachute riggers, control tower operators, policemen, administrative clerks, and any other skills necessary for the Army Air Corps to function as a flying squadron or a ground support unit. Picture 4
The black airmen who became single-engine or multi-engine pilots were trained at Tuskegee Army Air Field (TAAF) in Tuskegee Alabama. The first aviation cadet class began in July 1941 and after nine months training was complete. Unfortunately out of the 13 who were originally enrolled in the class only 5 actually...
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