Chicago Chapter OTAs (Original Tuskegee Airmen) and other WWII Era Vets

Historical Context of “The Tuskegee Airmen Experience”

In 1984, television news anchor Tom Brokaw went to France to make a documentary commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy (D-Day) during WWII. Enraptured, fifteen years later and following hundreds of personal letters and interviews, Brokaw wrote The Greatest Generation, a representative cross-section of the stories he came across. This collection however, is more than a mere chronicle of a tumultuous time, it’s history made personal by a cast of everyday people transformed by extraordinary circumstances: the first women to break the homemaker mold, minorities suffering countless indignities to boldly fight for their country, infantrymen who went on to become some of the most distinguished leaders in the world, small-town kids who became corporate magnates. It was from this era as representives this “Greatest Generation” that the Tuskegee Airmen have established themselves firmly in the history of American Military Aviation as pioneers and heroes. History records that the Military Air Command considered the training and utilization of “Negro” personnel for military aviation in World War II as a sociological ” military training experiment”. The Air Force did not want to accept Blacks into the Army Air Corps at that time because they, along with a large segment of the White population, believed that Blacks were inherently inferior and lacked the mental aptitude to fly fighter aircraft as well as the courage to fight in combat. It was only through political pressure brought on by the relentless effort of the Black community, with the support of a few sympathetic Whites, that the program to train Black aviators was established at Tuskegee Alabama, in 1941. Despite the burden of discrimination in training and combat, the Tuskegee Airmen achieved an outstanding combat record. They destroyed or damaged over 400 German aircraft and over a thousand ground and sea targets. The most renowned accomplishments were the sinking of a destroyer with only machine gun fire and that the Tuskegee Airmen also had an outstanding bomber escort record. Please see the the bulletin on this subject which may be accessed from our Home Page

Willian Loving, Tuskegee, African-American history, military history, aviation history
Willa Brown, Tuskegee, African-American history, military history, aviation history
Welton Taylor, Tuskegee, African-American history, military history, aviation history
Virgil Poole, Tuskegee, African-American history, military history, aviation history
Shelby Westbrook, Tuskegee, African-American history, military history, aviation history
Sammy Rayner, Tuskegee, African-American history, military history, aviation history
Roy Chappell, Tuskegee, African-American history, military history, aviation history
Robert Martin, Tuskegee, African-American history, military history, aviation history
Richard Highbaugh, Tuskegee, African-American history, military history, aviation history
Quintin Smith, Tuskegee Airmen, African-American history, military history, aviation history
Price D. Rice, Tuskegee Airmen, African-American history, military history, aviation history
O. Lawton Wilkerson, Tuskegee Airmen, African-American history, military history, aviation history
Milt Williams, Tuskegee Airmen, African-American history, military history, aviation history
Lawrence Clark, Tuskegee Airmen, African-American history, military history, aviation history
Laverne Shelton, Tuskegee Airmen, African-American history, military history, aviation history
John W. Rogers, Tuskegee Airmen, African-American history, military history, aviation history
John Lyle, Tuskegee Airmen, African-American history, military history, aviation history
Janet Waterford, Coffey Flying School, African-American history, military history, aviation history
James C. Warren, Tuskegee Airmen, African-American history, military history, aviation history
James Kennedy, Tuskegee Airmen, African-American history, military history, aviation history
Julius P Echols, Tuskegee Airmen, African-American history, military history, aviation history
Hollis Cornelious, Tuskegee Airmen, African-American history, military history, aviation history
Henry P. Hervey, Tuskegee Airmen, African-American history, military history, aviation history
Harold Hurd, Tuskegee Airmen, African-American history, military history, aviation history
Hannibal Cox
George Taylor, Tuskegee Airmen
Felix Kilpatrick, Tuskegee Airmen
Judge Earl Strayhorn, Tuskegee Airmen
Conelius Coffey, Coffy Flying School
Bev Dunjill, Tuskegee Airmen
Bessie Coleman, Tuskegee
Willian Thompson, Tuskegee Airmen
Andrew S. Perez, Tuskegee Airmen
Charles M. Chears, 2nd Lt
John S. Sloan

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Obituaries
The Lonely Eagles

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