Black History Month: WWII Flying Heroes Tuskegee Airmen

Flying heroes Tuskegee Airmen who fought during World War II and freed not only Europe but black people in America too

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first black servicemen to serve as military aviators in the U.S. armed forces, flying with distinction during World War II. Though subject to racial discrimination both at home and abroad, the 996 pilots and more than 15,000 ground personnel who served with the all-black units would be credited with some 15,500 combat sorties and earn over 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses for their achievements.

The highly publicized successes of the Tuskegee Airmen helped pave the way for the eventual integration of the U.S. armed forces under President Harry Truman in 1948.

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The number of accomplishments of Tuskegee Airmen is massive. 8 Purple Hearts, 744 Air Medals, 14 Bronze Stars, 96 Distinguished Flying Crosses to 95 Airmen; Captain William A. Campbell was awarded two. These people are not just soldier, each of them are heroes.

After the war in Europe ended in 1945, black airmen returned to the United States and faced continued racism and bigotry despite their outstanding war record. Tuskegee Army Air Field continued to train new airmen until 1946, with women entering the program in several support fields.

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The positive experience, the outstanding record of accomplishment and the superb behavior of black airmen during World War II, and after, were important factors in the initiation of the historic social change to achieve racial equality in America. That’s Tuskegee Airmen, who fought not only against outside enemy, but the enemy within our country called racism.

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