The Tuskegee Airmen Essay, Research Paper
The Tuskegee Airman
For my term paper I chose the Tuskegee Airman. They
will alway be the most influential air squadron during WWII. I
believe this because there where a batch racialist people that did non
desire them to win, but they did more than merely win. They
became the first black Airforce pilots.
It all started when President Roosevelt arranged a meeting
in September 1940 with three Afro-american leaders and members
of the Army and Navy. During the meeting, the leaders emphasized
three points: ( 1 ) equal chance for occupations in the defence
industry, ( 2 ) impartial disposal of the new draftlaw, and
( 3 ) an chance for qualified inkinesss to larn to wing in
desegrated units. *1*
A few yearss subsequently after the meeting, the War Department
issued a policy directives saying that black work forces by and large would
be admitted into the armed force in Numberss equivalent to their
per centum in the civilian population.
But it was non until a couple months after the meeting in
December 1940, that the Army Air Corps submitted a program for the
experiment to set up an all-black combatant squadron.
The program was non official until July 19, 1941 when Major
General Walter Weaver, commanding officer of the U.S. Army? s Southeastern
Air Corps spoke at the Tuskegee Institute Campus. *2* It was
so that 13 black work forces became the first black pilot trainees.
Most of the trainees were college alumnuss, including a
police officer, an army officer, a mill inspector, and several
immature work forces who were fresh out of college.
Besides, all of the work forces were trained at Chanute Air Field in
Ratoul, Illinois at the US Army Air Corps Technical Training
School. The work forces of this first squadron were so smart that they
established a class point norm ne’er equaled before or after
their preparation. *3*
A few stat mis from the Tuskegee Campus, two air Fieldss were
built for the preparation of the new plebes. The two air Fieldss were
Moton Field and the Tuskegee Army Air Field ( TAAF ) . About six
stat mis from the Fieldss was the town of Tuskegee. It was really
hostile toward inkinesss, particularly its sheriff.
At the TAAF base, really diverse amusement was
offered. Musicians such as Louis Armstrong and Lena Horne, other
famous persons like Joe Louis and the Camel Caravan Orchestra.
The first trainer plane used by the squadron was the PT-
17. *4*It was a biplane with unretractable set downing cogwheel. The
teacher rode with the plebe during the first pattern, whether
the trainee knew how to wing or non.
Before the plebes could gain their wings, they had to
complete three stages of the preparation. These were the
primary, basic and advanced classs. In the primary and basic,
the plebes would hold land school schoolroom classs and winging
lessons. In the advanced, the plebes would concentrate on
On September 2, 1941, Captain Benjamin O. Davis Jr. became
the first black adult male to officially solo an aircraft as an officer
of the Army Air Corps. *5* A few yearss after Davis? s solo flight on
December 7,1941, in the thick of category 42C? s preparation, the
Nipponese bombed the US Navy base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. That
following twenty-four hours the United States declared war, fall ining Alliess with
Great Britain, France, and Russia in the battle against the Axis
powers Germany, Italy and Japan.
It was non until July 3, 1942 that the 4th category of the
Tuskegee Institute graduated. The work forces of this category became the
plebes that would make full the 99th squadron, which became the first
black squadron of the Army Air Corps.
Joining the pilots in the 99th were 14 other officers who
provided support services and commanded the 35 enlisted work forces who
serviced the planes. In nine months to a twelvemonth, they had mastered
accomplishments the Air Force said should necessitate at least five old ages. The
99th so perfected their accomplishments in the P-40, the plane they
would wing in combat.
After having word from their officers, in October 1942,
the Inspector General of the Third Air Force said the 99th was
in first-class status and was ready for immediate going. *6*
Finally on April 1, 1943, over a twelvemonth after the graduation
of the first category, word came? traveling out. ? The following twenty-four hours the 99th
climbed aboard a train that would take them to New York where
they would board a troop ship. They did non board the ship until
April 15,1943, which was bound for North Africa. Then the 99th
eventually reached Moroco on May 1,1943. When acquiring off the ship,
they said instantly Arab kids swarmed them inquiring for
coffin nails and nutrient. *7*
While at the first cantonment in Oved, Nija, Josephine Baker, a
good known black performing artist, entertained the military personnels.
Besides, while being at their first cantonment received their P-40l
War Hawks and were joined by white pilots who did non care for
the colour of their tegument. The first missions utilizing these planes
were destructing land marks and escorting bombers. While
escorting bombers, they were ordered ne’er to prosecute an enemy.
But on June 9, 1943, members of the 99th were escorting a
group of 12 bombers. They were attacked by 4 German Me-109? s. *8*
Eight of the members stayed and escorted the bombers place. The
other 4 pursued the Germans and about lost the 99th? s position as
a battle-ready combatant squadron.
Throughout the remainder of June and July the 99th participated
in the bombardment of Pantelleria. During this clip history was
made. On July 2, 1943, Lieutenant Charles Hall scored the first
putting to death for the 99th, when he downed a FW-190 and damaged an Me-
109. *9* Subsequently that twenty-four hours, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was
commanding officer of American forces in Northern Africa at the clip,
visited the squadron and praised Hall for an first-class occupation.
A few yearss after the first putting to death, Pantelleria, a little island
they were assailing surrendered. Besides the same twenty-four hours Lieutenant
Colonel Davis received a missive from the country commanding officer, Colonel
J.R. Hawkins, which congratulated them, and thanked them for
their public presentation in the return down of Pantelleria. *10*
Within yearss of the resignation of Pantelleria, the 99th
participated in the gaining control of the islands. The two islands were
Lampedusa and Linosa. This was the first clip in history that air
power entirely had wholly destroyed all enemy opposition.
Then after the takedowns of the three islands, Lieutenant
Colonel Davis was called back to the provinces to take bid of
the all black 332nd combatant group which consisted of the 100th,
the 301st, and the 302nd with a proficient group. *11*
The following twelvemonth in the center of January, the 99th and the
79th moved to Capodichino Airfield, near Naples on the western
seashore of Italy. From there the squadrons supported the conflict of
During the Battle of Anzio on January 27, 1944 the 99th
spotted a group of German combatant planes assailing ships near
the beach of Naples. The 99th attacked the Germans and made five
putting to deaths. Because of this conflict, a few months subsequently, in a survey
made by the Army? s statistical unit, the 99th was said to be a
brilliant tactical combatant unit.
Then eventually, the 332nd got its action in the war. It was
composed of the three groups 100th, 301st, and 302nd. They
arrived in Italy in approximately early February of 1944. Their first
assignment was to police Italy? s western seashore. But when they
encountered Germans, they tried to prosecute but their planes were
excessively slow to catch up. Then in late May, the 332nd joined other
combatant groups in General Eaker? s 15th Air force at Ramitelli.
It was non until June 9, 1944, three yearss after D-day that
the 332nd got their first of import mission. The mission was to
bodyguard B-17 and B-24 bombers to destruct mills in Munich, *12*
Germany and was led by Colonel Davis. As they neared Munich,
Colonel Davis alerted that enemy planes were nearing the
bombers from the rear. Then he ordered the 302nd to travel acquire the
enemies. They made five putting to deaths and had merely one loss. The
bombers accomplished their mission and told Colonel Davis when
they got back to establish that their formation winging and bodyguard is
the best they had of all time seen. Because of this one mission Colonel
Davis received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his leading.
In that same month Lieutenant Gwynne Pierson and
Captain Wendall Pruitt received the Distinguished Flying Cross
for their ne’er before seen putting to deaths. They sank two enemy destroyers
with lone slugs. Some people did non believe them but when the
exposures from the flying cameras were developed, they had no ground
non to believe the two pilots.
About a hebdomad subsequently, they made more history by going the
foremost combatant group with four squadrons with the 99th fall ining the
332nd. The 99th was shortly smitten with unwellness and could non
perform for a piece. So during the July of 1944 the three Red
Tail squadrons of 332nd flew largely bomber bodyguards. The most
of import mission for that month was when they were winging a
bomber bodyguard mission to dragoon paces in France and crossed the
Gallic seashore. The pilots spotted 25 enemy combatant planes traveling
in to assail, but as the enemy planes came closer they saw the
combatant plane escorting the bombers and turned off but left
themselves open for onslaught. Four of their planes were taken down
by Captain Joseph Elsberry and Lieutenant Harold Sawyer and by
the terminal of July the 332nd had 39 aerial putting to deaths.
In August, the 33rd continued its bomber bodyguard missions to
enemy oil Fieldss. The Allies were approximately to get down a new offense
in southern France, and planned to occupy the part on August
15. Now that the war had moved north, the Allies needed southern
Gallic ports as entry points for military personnels and supplies. Helping
in the attempt to cut down opposition to Allied encroachers, the 332nd
escorted bombers sent to assail pigboat docks, Bridgess,
landing fields, and radio detection and ranging Stationss. Once the invasion force had landed
the 332nd escorted bomber missions to assail enemy military personnels,
Bridgess, and supply and communicating centres.
By September, the pilots of the 332nd had become known as
skilled bomber bodyguards. Praise for the Red Tails came in from
many bomber squadrons. On September 10, 1944, the top brass came
to pay its respects. In a full frock ceremonial with the 15th Air
Force set and military personnels go throughing in the reappraisal, four pilots were
presented with the Distinguished Flying Cross. General Davis
pinned the decoration on his boy, honored for his leading of one of
the first bomber bodyguard missions to Munich, during which five
enemy planes were shot down.
Captain Elsberry and Lieutenant Clarence Lester were honored
for hiting down three planes each during individual missions and
Lieutenant Jack Holsclaw was cited for accomplishing two aerial
triumphs during one mission.
During most of January 1945, the 332nd was kept in by the
rain and the snow. The Squadrons merely flew 11 missions. The
conditions improved in February which led them to 39 missions. As
the pilots flew around Germany, all they saw was fume coming
from the hemorrhoids of dust. Besides during the February, the squadron
lost five pilots and planes to the aerial conflicts.
In early March, Colonel Davis received word that the 302nd
squadron was being inactivated and disbanded. He did non cognize why
but believed it was because the Air Force was holding problem
providing black pilots to four black combatant groups.
But it was non until 1948 that President Harry S. Truman
issued an executive order. This order finally ended
segregation in the US military.
In this paper I have represented my thesis statement with
good facts and difficult grounds that the Tuskegee Airman were and
ever will be the most influential combatant unit during WWII.
# 1.Mckissack, Patricia and Fredrick Red Tail Angles
United States: Walker Publishing Company, 1995.
# 2.Harris, Jacqueline The Tuskegee Airman
New Jersey: Dillon Press,1996.
# 3.Hart Philip S. Fly Free Minneapolis, Minnesota:
Lerner Publications Company,1992.
# 4.Rose Robert A. Lonely Eagles Los Angelos, CA:
Tuskegee Airman Inc.
# 5. ? Tuskegee Airman: A Brief History? Tuskegee Airman
November 26,1999 hypertext transfer protocol: //www.ebonywings.com/tuskegee