|Tuskegee Airmen (unofficial)|
|Active||1941 - 1946|
|Branch||US Army Air Corps|
United States Army Air Forces
United States Air Force
|Part of||332d Fighter Group/Air Expeditionary Wing|
|Engagements||World War II|
The Tuskegee Airmen (pronounced /təˈskiːgi/) was the popular name of a group of African American pilots who flew with distinction during World War II as the 332nd Fighter Group of the US Army Air Corps. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the The United States Army Air Forces ( USAAF) was the military aviation arm of the United States of America during and immediately after World War II. The United States Army Air Forces ( USAAF) was the military aviation arm of the United States of America during and immediately after World War II. World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including African Americans or Black Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have origins in any of the black populations of Africa World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including The 332nd Fighter Group was a unit of the US Twelfth and Fifteenth Air Forces based in Italy during World War II. The United States Army Air Forces ( USAAF) was the military aviation arm of the United States of America during and immediately after World War II.
Prior to the Tuskegee Airmen, no U. S. military pilots had been black. A series of legislative moves by the United States Congress in 1941 forced the Army Air Corps to form an all-black combat unit, despite the War Department's reluctance. The United States Congress is the bicameral Legislature of the federal government of the United States of America, consisting of two houses In an effort to eliminate the unit before it could begin, the War Department set up a system to accept only those with a level of flight experience or higher education that they expected would be hard to fill. This policy backfired when the Air Corps received an abundance of applications from men who qualified even under these restrictive specifications.
The U. S. Army Air Corps had established the Psychological Research Unit 1 at Maxwell Army Air Field, Alabama, and other units around the country for aviation cadet training, which included the identification, selection, education, and training of pilots, navigators and bombardiers. Maxwell Air Force Base, officially known as Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, is a United States Air Force (USAF installation under the Air Education and Training Alabama (formally the State of Alabama;) is a State located in the southern region of the United States of America. The title Flight Officer can refer to a functional (occupational job title as an aircrew member or it can refer to a military rank previously used by the U Bombardier is a rank used in Artillery units in the armies of Commonwealth countries instead of Corporal. Psychologists employed in these research studies and training programs used some of the first standardized tests to quantify IQ, dexterity, and leadership qualities in order to select and train the right personnel for the right role (bombardier, pilot, navigator). A standardized test is a test administered and scored in a consistent manner An Intelligence Quotient or IQ is a score derived from one of several different Standardized tests attempting to measure Intelligence. Fine motor skills can be defined as coordination of small Muscle movements which occur e The word leadership can refer to Those entities that perform one or more acts of leading The Air Corps determined that the same existing programs would be used for all units, including all-black units. At Tuskegee, this effort would continue with the selection and training of the Tuskegee Airmen.
On 19 March 1941, the 99th Pursuit Squadron (Pursuit being the pre-World War II descriptive for "Fighter") was activated at Chanute Field in Rantoul, Illinois. Events 1279 - A Mongolian victory in the Battle of Yamen ends the Song Dynasty in China. Year 1941 ( MCMXLI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (the link will display 1941 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Chanute Air Force Base (1917-1993 is a former United States Air Force base located south of and adjacent to Rantoul Illinois, about south of Chicago For the Illinois village previously known as Rantoul see Alma Illinois Rantoul is a village in Champaign County, Illinois  Over 250 enlisted men were trained at Chanute in aircraft ground support trades. This small number of enlisted men was to become the core of other black squadrons forming at Tuskegee and Maxwell Fields in Alabama.
In June 1941, the Tuskegee program officially began with formation of the 99th Fighter Squadron at the Tuskegee Institute, a highly regarded university founded by Lewis Adams in Tuskegee, Alabama. WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout Tuskegee University is a private, historically black university located in Tuskegee, Alabama, United States. Lewis Adams (1842-1905 was an African American slave in Macon County Alabama who is best remembered for his work in helping found the Normal school  The unit consisted of an entire service arm, including ground crew. After basic training at Moton Field, they were moved to the nearby Tuskegee Army Air Field about 16 km (10 miles) to the west for conversion training onto operational types. Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, at Moton Field in Tuskegee Alabama, commemorates the contributions of African American airmen in World War II. Sharpe Field is a private Airport located six miles (10 km northwest of the Central business district of Tuskegee, in Macon County, The Airmen were placed under the command of Capt. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., one of the few African American West Point graduates. General Benjamin Oliver Davis Jr ( December 18, 1912 &ndash July 4, 2002) was an United States Air Force general and commander of "USMA" redirects here For other uses see USMA (disambiguation The United States Military Academy (also known as USMA, His father Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. was the first black general in the U. Brigadier General Benjamin Oliver Davis Sr (July 1 1877 &ndash November 26 1970 was an American general and the father of Benjamin O S. Army.
During its training, the 99th Fighter Squadron was commanded by white and Puerto Rican officers, beginning with Maj. James Ellison. By 1942, however, it was Col. Frederick Kimble who oversaw operations at the Tuskegee airfield. Kimble maintained segregation on the field in deference to local customs – a policy the airmen resented.  Later that year, the Air Corps replaced Kimble with the director of Instruction at Tuskegee Army Airfield, Maj. Noel Parrish. Parrish, counter to the prevalent racism of the day, was fair and open-minded, and petitioned Washington to allow the Tuskegee Airmen to serve in combat.
The 99th was ready for combat duty during some of the Allies' earliest actions in the North African campaign, and was transported to Casablanca, Morocco, on the USS Mariposa. During World War II, the North African Campaign, also known as the Desert War, took place in the North African desert from June 10, 1940 Casablanca (in Standard Arabic: الدار البيضاء ad-Dār al-Bayḍāʼ; Moroccan Arabic: dar beïda الدار البيضا Morocco (المغرب "al-Maghrib" officially the Kingdom of Morocco (المملكة المغربية is a country located in North Africa Career with Matson Lines SS Mariposa was designed for service in the Pacific Ocean including regular stops in ports along the West Coast of the United States From there, they travelled by train to Oujda near Fes, and made their way to Tunis to operate against the Luftwaffe. Oujda (وجدة is a city in eastern Morocco with an estimated population of half a million inhabitants Fes or Fez ( Arabic: فاس, French Fès is the fourth largest City in Morocco, after Casablanca, Rabat Tunis ( Arabic: تونس Tūnis) is the Capital of the Tunisian Republic and also the Tunis ( German 'luftvafe is a generic German term for an Air force. The flyers and ground crew were largely isolated by racial segregation practices of their initial command, the 33rd Fighter Group and its commander Col. William W. Momyer, and left with little guidance from battle-experienced pilots beyond a week spent with Col. General William Wallace Momyer was commander of the US Air Force Tactical Air Command. Phillip Cochran. The 99th's first combat mission was to attack the small but strategic volcanic island of Pantelleria in the Mediterranean Sea between Sicily and Tunisia, in preparation for the Allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943. Pantellaria redirects here For the Brachiopod Genus, see Pantellaria (brachiopod. Sicily ( Italian and Sicilian: Sicilia) is an autonomous region of Italy. Tunisia (تونس Tūnis officially the Tunisian Republic ( is a country located in North Africa. The Allied invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky, was a major World War II campaign in which the Allies took Sicily from the Axis The 99th moved to Sicily while attached to the 79th Fighter Group, whose commander, Col. Earl Bates, fully involved the squadron, and the 99th received a Distinguished Unit Citation for its performance in Sicily. Please see " Presidential Unit Citation " for other nations' versions of this award The Presidential Unit Citation is awarded to units
However, Col. Momyer told media sources in the U. S. that the 99th was a failure and its pilots cowardly, incompentent or worse, resulting in a critical article in Time magazine. In response, a hearing was convened before the House Armed Services Committee to determine whether the Tuskegee Airmen "experiment" should be allowed to continue. The US House Committee on Armed Services, commonly known as the House Armed Services Committee, is a Standing committee of the United States House of Representatives Momyer accused the Airmen of being incompetent—-based on the fact that they had seen little air-to-air combat during their time in theatre. To bolster the recommendation to scrap the project, a member of the committee commissioned and then submitted into evidence a "scientific" report by the University of Texas which purported to prove that Negroes were of low intelligence and incapable of handling complex situations (such as air combat). Col. Davis forcefully refuted the committee members' claims, but only the intervention of Col. Emmitt "Rosie" O'Donnell prevented a recommendation for disbandment of the squadron from being sent to president Franklin D. Roosevelt. General Hap Arnold decided an evaluation of all Mediterranean Theatre P-40 units would be undertaken to determine the true merits of the 99th. The results showed the 99th FS to be as good or better than the other American units operating the fighter.
Shortly after the hearing, three new squadrons fresh out of training at Tuskegee embarked for Africa. After several months operating separately, all four squadrons were combined to form the all-black 332nd Fighter Group. The 332nd Fighter Group was a unit of the US Twelfth and Fifteenth Air Forces based in Italy during World War II.
The Tuskegee Airmen were initially equipped with P-40 Warhawks, briefly with P-39 Airacobras (March 1944), later with P-47 Thunderbolts (June-July 1944), and finally with the airplane that they would become most identified with, the P-51 Mustang (July 1944). WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout
On 27 January and 28 January 1944, Luftwaffe Fw 190 fighter-bombers raided Anzio, where the Allies had conducted amphibious landings on January 22. Events 98 - Trajan becomes Roman Emperor after the death of Nerva. Events 1077 - Walk to Canossa: The Excommunication of Henry IV Holy Roman Emperor is lifted Year 1944 ( MCMXLIV) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout Operation Shingle ( January 22, 1944) during the Italian Campaign of World War II, was an Allied amphibious landing against Events 565 - Eutychius is deposed as Patriarch of Constantinople by John Scholasticus. Attached to the 79th Fighter Group, eleven of the 99th Fighter Squadron's pilots shot down enemy fighters, including Capt. The 79th Fighter Group was a World War II United States Army Air Forces combat organization Charles B. Hall, who claimed two shot down, bringing his aerial victory total to three. The eight fighter squadrons defending Anzio together claimed 32 German aircraft shot down whilst the 99th claimed the highest score among them with 13. 
The squadron won its second Distinguished Unit Citation on 12 May-14 May 1944, while attached to the 324th Fighter Group, attacking German positions on Monastery Hill (Monte Cassino), attacking infantry massing on the hill for a counterattack, and bombing a nearby strong point to force the surrender of the German garrison to Moroccan Goumiers. Please see " Presidential Unit Citation " for other nations' versions of this award The Presidential Unit Citation is awarded to units Events 1191 - Richard I of England marries Berengaria of Navarre. Events 1264 - Battle of Lewes: Henry III of England is captured in France making Simon de Montfort the Year 1944 ( MCMXLIV) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Monte Cassino has made it the repeated scene of battles and Sieges from antiquity. Morocco (المغرب "al-Maghrib" officially the Kingdom of Morocco (المملكة المغربية is a country located in North Africa Goumier is a term used for Moroccan soldiers who served in auxiliary units attached to the French Army, between 1908 and 1956
By this point, more graduates were ready for combat, and the all-black 332nd Fighter Group had been sent overseas with three fighter squadrons: the 100th, 301st and 302nd. The 332nd Fighter Group was a unit of the US Twelfth and Fifteenth Air Forces based in Italy during World War II. The 301st Fighter Squadron ( 301 FS) is part of the 944th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. The 302d Fighter Squadron ( 302 FS) is part of the 477th Fighter Group at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. Under the command of Col. Benjamin O. Davis, the squadrons were moved to mainland Italy, where the 99th FS, assigned to the group on 1 May, joining them on 6 June. General Benjamin Oliver Davis Jr ( December 18, 1912 &ndash July 4, 2002) was an United States Air Force general and commander of Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest Events 305 - Diocletian and Maximian retire from the office of Roman Emperor. Events 1508 - Maximilian I Holy Roman Emperor, is defeated in Friulia by Venetian forces; he is forced to sign a three-year The Airmen of the 332nd Fighter Group escorted bombing raids into Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Poland and Germany. Czechoslovakia may also refer to what is now the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Austria (Österreich ( officially the Republic of Austria (Republik Österreich Hungary (Magyarország 'mɔɟɔrorsaːg) officially in English the Republic of Hungary ( Magyar Köztársaság, literally Magyar (Hungarian Republic Poland (Polska officially the Republic of Poland Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe.
Flying escort for heavy bombers, the 332nd racked up an impressive combat record. Reportedly, the Luftwaffe awarded the Airmen the nickname, "Schwarze Vogelmenschen," or "Black Birdmen. " The Allies called the Airmen "Redtails" or "Redtail Angels," because of the distinctive crimson paint on the vertical stabilizers of the unit's aircraft. Although bomber groups would request Redtail escort when possible, few bomber crew members knew at the time that the Redtails were black.
A B-25 bomb group, the 477th Bombardment Group (Medium), was forming in the U. S. but completed its training too late to see action. The 99th Fighter Squadron after its return to the United States became part of the 477th, redesignated the 477th Composite Group.
By the end of the war, the Tuskegee Airmen were credited with 109 Luftwaffe aircraft shot down, the German-operated Italian destroyer TA-23 sunk by machine-gun fire, and destruction of numerous fuel dumps, trucks and trains. The squadrons of the 332nd FG flew more than 15,000 sorties on 1,500 missions. The unit received recognition through official channels and was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for a mission flown March 24, 1945, escorting B-17s to bomb the Daimler-Benz tank factory at Berlin, Germany, an action in which its pilots were credited with destroying three Me-262 jets, all belonging to the Luftwaffe's all-jet Jagdgeschwader 7, in aerial combat that day, despite the American unit initially claiming 11 Me 262s on that particular mission. Please see " Presidential Unit Citation " for other nations' versions of this award The Presidential Unit Citation is awarded to units Daimler-Benz AG was a German manufacturer of automobiles motor vehicles and engines which was founded in 1926 Berlin is the capital city and one of sixteen states of Germany. WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout Jagdgeschwader 7 (JG 7 Nowotny was a Luftwaffe fighter - wing of World War II and the first operational Jet fighter wing  However on examing German records, JG 7 records just four Me 262s were lost and all of the pilots survived.  In return the 463rd Bomb Group, one of the many B-17 groups the 322nd were escorting, lost two bombers.  The 322nd themselves lost three P-51s during the mission. The bombers also made substantial claims, making it impossible to tell which units were responsible for those individual four kills. The 99th Fighter Squadron in addition received two DUCs, the second after its assignment to the 332nd FG.  The Tuskegee Airmen were awarded several Silver Stars, 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 8 Purple Hearts, 14 Bronze Stars and 744 Air Medals. The Silver Star is the third highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of any branch of the United States Armed Forces. The Distinguished Flying Cross is a medal awarded to any officer or enlisted member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself or herself in The Bronze Star Medal is a United States Armed Forces individual military decoration which may be awarded for bravery acts of merit or meritorious service The Air Medal is a military decoration of the United States which was established by Executive Order 9158 signed by Franklin D
In all, 992 pilots were trained in Tuskegee from 1940 to 1946; about 445 deployed overseas, and 150 Airmen lost their lives in training or combat. 
While it had long been said that the Redtails were the only fighter group who never lost a bomber to enemy fighters, suggestions to the contrary, combined with Air Force records and eyewitness accounts indicating that at least 25 bombers were lost to enemy fire, resulted in the Air Force conducting a reassessment of the history of this famed unit in late 2006.
The claim that no bomber escorted by the Tuskegee Airmen had ever been lost to enemy fire first appeared on 24 March 1945, in the Chicago Defender, under the headline "332nd Flies Its 200th Mission Without Loss. Events 1401 - Mongol emperor Timur sacks Damascus. 1603 - James VI of Scotland Year 1945 ( MCMXLV) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar The Chicago Defender was the United States ’ largest and most influential black weekly newspaper by the beginning of World War I. " According to the 28 March 2007 Air Force report, however, some bombers under 332nd Fighter Group escort protection were shot down on the very day the Chicago Defender article was published. Events 37 - Roman Emperor Caligula accepts the titles of the Principate, entitled to him by the Senate. Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century.  The subsequent report, based on after-mission reports filed by both the bomber units and Tuskegee fighter groups as well as missing air crew records and witness testimony, was released in March 2007 and documented 25 bombers shot down by enemy fighter aircraft while being escorted by the Tuskegee Airmen. A fighter aircraft is a Military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with other Aircraft, as opposed to a Bomber, which is designed 
The controversy continued to attract news media attention in 2008. A St. Petersburg Times article quoted a historian at the Air Force Historical Research Agency as confirming the loss of up to 25 bombers. The St Petersburg Times is a daily Newspaper based in St Petersburg Florida, that serves the larger Tampa Bay area Disputing this, a professor at the National Defense University in Washington said he researched more than 200 Tuskegee Airmen mission reports and found no bombers were lost to enemy fighters. Bill Holloman, a Tuskegee airman who taught black studies at the University of Washington and now chairs the Airmen's history committee, was reported by the Times as saying his review of records did confirm lost bombers, but "the Tuskegee story is about pilots who rose above adversity and discrimination and opened a door once closed to black America — not about whether their record is perfect". See Washington (disambiguation for other uses The University of Washington, founded in 1861, is a public research University 
One mission report states that on 26 July 1944: "1 B-24 seen spiraling out of formation in T/A (target area) after attack by E/A (enemy aircraft). Events 657 - Battle of Siffin. 811 - Battle of Pliska; Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus Year 1944 ( MCMXLIV) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. No chutes seen to open. " A second report, dated 31 August 1944, praises group commander Gen. Events 1056 - Byzantine Empress Theodora becomes ill dying suddenly a few days later without children to succeed the Throne Year 1944 ( MCMXLIV) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Benjamin O. Davis Jr. by saying he "so skillfully disposed his squadrons that in spite of the large number of enemy fighters, the bomber formation suffered only a few losses. "
Far from failing as originally expected, a combination of pre-war experience and the personal drive of those accepted for training had resulted in some of the best pilots in the U. S. Army Air Corps. Nevertheless, the Tuskegee Airmen continued to have to fight racism. List of racism-related topics|Racism by country Racism, by its simplest definition is the belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that Their combat record did much to quiet those directly involved with the group (notably bomber crews who often requested them for escort), but other units were less than interested and continued to harass the Airmen.
All of these events appear to have simply stiffened the Airmen's resolve to fight for their own rights in the US. After the war, the Tuskegee Airmen once again found themselves isolated. In 1949, the 332nd entered the annual All Air Force Gunnery Meet in Las Vegas, Nevada and won. After segregation in the military was ended in 1948 by President Harry S. Truman with Executive Order 9981, the Tuskegee Airmen now found themselves in high demand throughout the newly formed United States Air Force. Executive Order 9981 is an executive order issued on July 26, 1948 by U
In 2005, four Tuskegee Airmen (Lt. Tuskegee Airmen Inc (TAI is a non-profit organization with 50 chapters nation-wide dedicated to Honoring the accomplishments and perpetuating the history of African-Americans Col. Lee Archer, Lt. Col. Robert Ashby, MSgt. James Sheppard, and TechSgt. George Watson) flew to Balad, Iraq, to speak to active duty airmen serving in the current incarnation of the 332nd, reactivated as first the 332nd Air Expeditionary Group in 1998 and made part of the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing. The United States Air Force 's 332d Air Expeditionary Wing (332 AEW is an Air Expeditionary unit located at Balad Air Base, Iraq. "This group represents the linkage between the 'greatest generation' of airmen and the 'latest generation' of airmen," said Lt. Gen. Walter E. Buchanan III, commander of the Ninth Air Force and US Central Command Air Forces, in an e-mail to the Associated Press. Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central is a Numbered Air Force in Air Combat Command (ACC United States Air Forces Central ( USAFCENT, or AFCENT) formerly United States Central Command Air Forces ( USCENTAF, or informally just
On 29 March 2007, about 350 Tuskegee Airmen and their widows were collectively awarded the Congressional Gold Medal at a ceremony in the US Capitol rotunda. George Walker Bush ( born July 6 1946 is the forty-third and current President of the United States. The rotunda is the central rotunda of the United States Capitol, below the Capitol dome. Events 1461 - Wars of the Roses: Battle of Towton - Edward of York defeats Queen Margaret to become King Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. Washington DC ( formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, the District, or simply D Randolph Air Force Base ( Randolph AFB) is a base of the United States Air Force located in Universal City, Texas, near San Antonio Events 1461 - Wars of the Roses: Battle of Towton - Edward of York defeats Queen Margaret to become King Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. Not to be confused with the Medal of Honor, sometimes called the "Congressional Medal of Honor" which is the highest military decoration of the United States The rotunda is the central rotunda of the United States Capitol, below the Capitol dome.  The medal will go on display at the Smithsonian Institution; individual honorees will receive bronze replicas. The Smithsonian Institution (smɪθsoʊnɪən is an educational and research institute and associated Museum complex administered and funded by the Government of 
The airfield where the airmen trained is now the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site. Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, at Moton Field in Tuskegee Alabama, commemorates the contributions of African American airmen in World War II. 
In 2006, California Congressman Adam Schiff, and Missouri Congressman William Lacy Clay, Jr., have led the initiative to create a commemorative postage stamp to honor the Tuskegee Airmen. Adam B Schiff (born June 20 1960) is an American politician He first served in the California State Senate William Lacy Clay Jr sometimes known as Lacy Clay (born July 27, 1956) American politician was elected as Democratic member 
The 99th Flying Training Squadron flies T-1A Jayhawks and, in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen, they are in the process of painting the tails of their aircraft red. WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout
Patch of the 100th Fighter Squadron
Patch of the 99th Fighter Squadron
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