Myths surrounding the Tuskegee Airmen

Myths surrounding the Tuskegee Airmen

Myths environing the Tuskegee Airmen

The Tuskegee Airmen merit congratulations as a vanguard for racial equality in the United States. They proved that black work forces could win in a field from which they had antecedently been excluded. Their acknowledgment is from the fact that they were the lone black pilots in WWII. However, they do non merit the acknowledgment and congratulations they receive today. In today’s politically right society, America has exaggerated their accomplishments to show “equality” , and in making so we have created several myths in effort to do the Airmen seem superior to Whites. The Tuskegees are made of the 332neodymium, 99Thursday, 100Thursday, 301st, and 302neodymiumcombatant squadrons. They chiefly trained at the Tuskegee ground forces landing field during WWII, therefore their name. This paper focuses on the 3 chief misconceptions environing the Tuskegee aviators that are non historically accurate and are a consequence of political rightness: that they were superior ; that they were all black ; and that they ne’er got the acknowledgment they deserved.

First, we will discourse the myth that they were “superior” to other white pilots from the 15Thursdayair force. A common myth associated with the Tuskegees is that they “never lost a bomber” . It originates here:

“…Their record on bodyguard responsibility remained alone. They ne’er lost an American bomber to enemy aircraft ( Gropman p.14 ) .”

In world, bombers being escorted by the Tuskegees were shot down 7 times: June 9, 1944 ; June 13 ; July 12 ; July 18 ; July 20 ; August 24 ; and March 24, 1945. The Tuskegees did non entirely escort bombers, either. After 311 missions for the 15ThursdayAir Force ( between June 1944 – April 1945 ) , merely 179 were bomber bodyguards. General Benjamin O. Davis Jr ( commanding officer of the Tuskegees ) was interviewed to oppugn this myth. He replied that he questioned the statement, but he says it’s been repeated so many times people believed it. In his ain commendation ( in the 15ThursdayAir Force General Order 2972 on 31 August 1944 ) :

“Colonel Davis so skilfully disposed his squadrons that in malice of the big figure of enemy combatants, the bomber formation sufferedmerely a fewlosses.”

Whether the 332nd Fighter Group was better than the other three P-51 groups in the 15ThursdayAir Force is problematic. The policy of combatant bodyguards “sticking with the bombers” was non alone to their Fighter Group. In “The history of the Fifteenth Air Force” , it notes that:

“ Before the summer of 1944 [ before the Tuskegee’s started escorting bombers ] , the combatants ever maintained close bodyguard. The original policy of the Air Force, in fact, stipulated that the combatants were ne’er to go forth the bombers in order to do an onslaught unless enemy aircraft were evidently fixing to strike at the bomber formation.”

So we can clearly see that the other members of the 15ThursdayAir Force did non normally stray from their formation in order to prosecute enemy combatants to hike their record as the myth continues. To cite the same book:

“ During the counter-air run early in 1944, a peculiarly high degree of efficiency was reached by the bodyguard combatants. On four back-to-back yearss in February, heavy bomber incursions into Germany were covered by an bodyguard of P-38s and P-47s. Bomber pilots reported that the screen provided on these missions was the best of all time furnished in the Air Force up to that clip. ”

The 332neodymiumFighter Group started escorting bombers for the Fifteenth Air Force in June 1944, intending they were non involved at this clip. It seems clear that it was already policy for the 15ThursdayAir Force to lodge to their bombers. The 332neodymiumFighter Group were non the lone 1s making bodyguard in the Fifteenth Air Force, or the lone 1s to acquire applauded. Furthermore, none of the 15ThursdayAir Force was stationed at the same landing field as any of the combatant groups. The assignments rotated, and one group wasn’t ever assigned to escort the same crew. The mission studies ( taken from the same book ) shows that all the groups were winging the same sorts of missions and do non bespeak that merely one was escorting the best. It was really improbable that bomber crews could bespeak ( and acquire ) one group over another, as the missions were made on a rotational footing. Bomber crews were stationed stat mis off from the 332neodymium, so their members had small interaction with the combatant groups that escorted them.

Body 2:Myth that Tuskegee aviators were all black

The Tuskegees weren’t originally all black ; white officers did in fact play a function in the Airmen, and it would be incorrect to believe that Whites were constantly opposed to their success. The most celebrated of the Airmen was the 99ThursdayFighter Squadron ; the 332d Fighter Group ; and the 477th Bombardment Group. All of these military organisations began with both black and white members. The first three commanding officers of the 99th squadron and the first two commanding officers of the 332d Fighter Group were besides white. The first commanding officer of the 477th Bombardment Group, after it was a preponderantly black group, was white. Many of the flight teachers at Tuskegee were white. This was true at all three of the bases around Tuskegee, including Kennedy Field, Moton Field, and at Tuskegee Army Air Field. White officers kept high-level places in preparation organisations throughout World War II. Over a twelvemonth before the 99th Fighter Squadron was assigned to the 332neodymiumFighter Group, it served overseas attached to assorted white combatant groups, as if it were one of their squadrons. These groups had both black and white members while the 99th Fighter Squadron was attached to them. Some of these members resented being assigned to the 332nd Fighter Group, because they had become accustomed to functioning in white groups, winging alongside white combatant squadrons, and did non like being placed with the black combatant group because they were black. In a sense, it was a measure rearward to more segregation.

Body 3:Myth that Tuskegee aviators ne’er got the acknowledgment they deserved.

This claim may hold been true at first, as after WWII most of the unit histories were classified. But this is no longer true today, and at times the 332nd Fighter Group and the 99th Fighter Squadron receive more promotion than any of the other squadrons and groups that served with them in the Twelfth and Fifteenth Air Forces.

Equally early as 1955, Charles Francis published a book about the black winging units in World War II which he called The Tuskegee Airmen: The Work force Who Changed a State. A 2nd event farther publicized the function of the black aviators in World War II ; the formation of the Tuskegee Airmen Incorporated. Tuskegee Airmen veterans began garnering in 1972, and in 1975, they incorporated. The Tuskegee Airmen Incorporated are now a charity and instruction organisation, and of all time since 1975 they have educated the populace about the Tuskegee Airmen. In 1995, the HBO overseas telegram telecasting station produced and showed a film called The Tuskegee Airmen. The film was really popular, and non long after its demoing the term “Tuskegee Airmen” became common cognition. More and more Americans were cognizant of the black pilots who served in the Army Air Forces during World War II. By this clip, the Tuskegee Airmen were going more celebrated than many of the white aviators who served in other organisations winging some of the same sorts of missions, merely for being black. A 4th event made the Tuskegee Airmen even more celebrated countrywide. In March 2007, George W. Bush awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian decoration, to the Tuskegee Airmen. President Bush himself saluted the Tuskegee Airmen for their World War II service, and apologized, on behalf of the United States, for the mistreatment they suffered in the yesteryear. A 5th event that publicized the Tuskegee Airmen globally was the release of the film Red Tails in 2012. George Lucas ( the manufacturer ) helped distribute the celebrity of the Tuskegee Airmen far and broad. Besides the Tuskegee Airmen book by Charles Francis, the formation of the Tuskegee Airmen Incorporated, the release of the HBO film The Tuskegee Airmen, the 2007 Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony, and the release of the Red Tails film, the Tuskegee Airmen became celebrated in many other ways. They have been praised in countless other books, magazines and newspaper articles. For all of these grounds, the claim that the Tuskegee Airmen ne’er got the acknowledgment they deserved is no longer true. Peoples might non hold heard about the Tuskegee Airmen for many old ages after World War II, but by the bend of the twenty-first century, they were among the most celebrated of the World War II pilots of the Army Air Forces.

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Plants cited

from Alan Gropman’s book,The Air Force Integrates( Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History, 1985 ) , on p. 14:

foremost quotation mark ^

6 Daniel L. Haulman, “Tuskegee Airmen-Escorted Bombers Lost to Enemy Aircraft, ” paper prepared at the Air Force Historical Research Agency.