The Tuskegee Airmen is the popular name of a group of African-American pilots who fought in World War II. Formally, they formed the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Corps.
The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military aviators in the United States armed forces. During World War II, African Americans in many U.S. states were still subject to the Jim Crow laws. The American military was racially segregated, as was much of the federal government. The Tuskegee Airmen were subjected to racial discrimination, both within and outside the army. Despite these adversities, they trained and flew with distinction. All black military pilots who trained in the United States trained at Tuskegee, including five Haitians.
In all, 992 pilots were trained in Tuskegee from 1941 to 1946. 450 were deployed overseas, and 150 lost their lives in accidents or combat. The toll included 66 pilots killed in action or accidents, 84 killed in training and non-combat missions and 32 captured as prisoners of war. The Tuskegee Airmen were credited by higher commands with the following accomplishments:
- 1,378 combat missions
- 179 bomber escort missions with a good record of protection
- 112 enemy aircraft destroyed in the air, another 150 on the ground and 148 damaged 950 rail cars, trucks and other motor vehicles destroyed.
- One destroyer put out of action.
If you don't like guns, you probably don't know your history. Yep, I said it.
About The Author
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