Black Fighter Pilots Became Heroes During WWII
Tuskegee Airmen Were Pioneers in American History
by Nuchee Vang, age 12
The early 20th century was a time in U.S. history when racism
and discrimination was at its height. Because of the color of their
skin, some people were treated like animals. Despite this culture,
groups like the Tuskegee Airmen, worked tirelessly to break down
barriers for African Americans.
The Tuskegee Airmen
were the first group of African American fighter pilots to participate
in World War II. They became known as the Tuskegee Airmen because they
trained at the Army Corps (known as the U.S. Air Force) base in
Tuskegee, Alabama. The success of this unit was the key in President
Harry Truman’s 1948 decision to eliminate racial segregation in the
General Benjamin Oliver Davis, Jr., founded
and led the Tuskegee Airmen throughout World War II. He commanded the
all-black squadron that began training in 1941 at the request of the
request of the Roosevelt Administration. He was a graduate of West
Point, a military reservation in New York, the site of the U.S. Military
Academy. Davis became the first three-star black general.
squadron began flying missions in 1943, during the heart of World War
II. Their missions included shooting down enemy aircraft, bombing enemy
power sources, trains and barges, and escorting bomber groups on their
missions. The Tuskegee Airmen were noted as one of the Army Air Forces'
most successful and decorated escort groups.
veteran Tuskegee Airmen founded Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., to assist
minority students in developing an interest in aviation and aerospace
The film, Red Tails, tells the heroic story of the
Tuskegee Airmen. The film was released in January 2012 and was largely
produced by filmmaker George Lucas.