Tuskegee Airmen in the News

Tuskegee Airmen in the News

On this day July 19th in 1941 (exactly 79 years ago) the The Tuskegee Army Flying School was activated.

Now, it is being considered as the top contender as the new name for the NFL Team Washington Redskins which is changing their team name.

The flying school is located in South Central Alabama, 13 miles from the famous Tuskegee Institute founded by one of America’s foremost educators, Booker T. Washington.

The first troops arrived during the month of October, 1941. The initial ground crew for the then so-called “99th Pursuit Squadron” was composed of men who volunteered their services to the nation, and had been trained at the famous Chanute Field, Illinois. Each man upon his arrival was eager to play his role in building up the first flying school of its kind for African Americans.

The 99th was finally considered ready for combat duty by April 1943. It shipped out of Tuskegee on 2 April, bound for North Africa, where it would join the 33rd Fighter Group.

The Tuskegee Airmen went on to have a very successful and decorated combat career including shooting down three German jets in a single day. On 24 March 1945, 43 P-51 Mustangs led by Colonel Benjamin O. Davis escorted B-17 bombers over 1,600 miles (2,600 km) into Germany and back. The bombers’ target, a massive Daimler-Benz tank factory in Berlin, was heavily defended by Luftwaffe aircraft, including propeller-driven Fw 190s, Me 163 “Komet” rocket-powered fighters, and 25 of the much more formidable Me 262s, history’s first operational jet fighter.

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