All Blood Runs Red The Tuskegee Airmen

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  • All Blood Runs Red The Tuskegee Airmen

  • The Germans called them Schwartze Vogelmenshen, Black Birdmen.

  • The all-white American bomber crews whom they escorted with courage and distinction during WWII referred to them as the Black Redtail Angels after their P-51s stabilizers, which were painted bright red.


  • History has come to know these black pilots as the Tuskegee Airmen, 926 men who earned their wings at Tuskegee Army Airfield from March 1942 through June 1946.

  • They flew more than two hundred bomber escort missions without losing a single bomber to the enemy.

  • Sixty-six Tuskegee Airmen were killed in action, another thirty-two shot down.

  • Theirs is the story of black men fighting for the right to fly in a segregated military, for a country still reluctant to grant them certain freedoms, especially freedom of opportunity.

  • We were fighting two battles I flew for my parents, for my race, for our battle, for first-class citizenship and for my country.

  • We were fighting for the 14 million black Americans back home. We were there to break down barriers, open a few doors, and do a job. Maj. Joseph P. Gomer, USAF (ret) and member of the Tuskegee Airmen Maj. Joseph Gomer

  • African Americans had shown their ability to fly before WWII. During WWI, Georgia-born ace Eugene Jacques Bullard flew for France. Known as the Black Swallow of Death.

  • Bullard earned the highest French medals for valor.

  • Following WWI, black citizens had earned pilots licenses, owned planes, and made record-breaking cross-country flights.

  • Yet, in 1939, when President Roosevelt started the Civilian Pilot Training Program to train 20,000 college students a year for private flight-level licenses, not a single black was allowed to participate.

  • It took the efforts of Americas most prominent African-American leaders and a little-known senator from Missouri (Harry S. Truman) to persuade the Congress to accept and train black pilots.Senator Harry S. Trumanof Missouri.

  • The Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, a black vocational college founded by Booker T. Washington, was selected as one of the training sites.

  • First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt visited the institute and flew with Tuskegees black flying instructor Charles Chief Anderson.

  • What she saw and that flight convinced her that the school deserved the governments full support.



  • President Roosevelt declared Tuskegee an official training site for African-American pilots and the 99th Pursuit Squadron was established.


  • Barracks inspection at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.



  • In March 1942, the Tuskegee Airmen began flying combat missions.

  • Four hundred and fifty of the 926 pilots who earned wings at Tuskegee would participate in the battles to control the sky during WWII.


  • On July 26, 1948, Truman, by then president, desegregated the military. The Tuskegee Airmens performance helped accelerate the decision.


  • It was a wondrous sight to see those escort fighter planes coming up to take care of usThey were flown by men with enormous skill and coordination and competence. WWII Veteran, Former Senator, and presidential candidate George McGovern