The Tuskegee Airmen Essay, Research Paper

The Tuskegee Airman

For my term paper I chose the Tuskegee Airman. They

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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

military flight.

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

/ & gt ;

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: //



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