The Tuskegee Airmen
Myth: Black men can't fly planes.
General H.H. Arnold unequivocally stated that "no Blacks would ever pilot a plane in the upcoming war [World War II.]"
The myth was debunked with the help of the US Congress. On June 27th, 1939, the Civilian Training Act was passed with the objective being the creation of a pool of civilian pilots in the event that the country should become involved in the war.
Legal segregation denied African-Americans the required training to become pilots, as it was only available at all-white flight schools. As a result of strong protest, the War Department capitulated and an all-black flight school was established at Tuskegee Air Force Base.
This action produced the first African-American combat pilots, who became known as the Tuskegee Airmen of the 99th Pursuit Squadron. Colonel Benjamin O. Davis Jr., son of the first African-American general, who became a general himself in 1965, came out of this squadron.
Double V: The Civil Rights Struggle of the Tuskegee Airmen, Lawrence P. Scott, William M., Sr., Womack, William M. Womack, Sr., and William M. Womack. Michigan State University Press, 1994.
Red-Tail Angels: The Story of the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II, Pat McKissack, Patricia A. McKissack, and Fredrick L. McKissack. Walker & Company, 1995.
Tuskegee Airman: The Biography of Charles E. McGee, Air Force Fighter Combat Record Holder, Charlene E. McGee Smith, Charlene E. McGee, and Adolph Caso (ed.) Branden Publishing Company, 1999.
Tuskegee Airmen. Chandler/White Publishing Company, 1994.
The Tuskegee Airmen: Black Heroes of World War II, Jacqueline L. Harris. Dillon Press, 1996.
Buy it in hardcover: Amazon.com
Tuskegee Airmen: Heroes in Flight for Dignity, Inclusion, & Citizenship Rights, Ann C. Howell. Chandler/White Publishing Company, 1994.
The Tuskegee Airmen: The Men Who Changed a Nation, Charles E. Francis and Adolph Caso (Editor). Branden Publishing Company, 1997.
Tuskegee Airmen: The Story of the Negro in the U. S. Air Force, Charles E. Francis. Branden Publishing Company, 1993.
Warbirds Worldwide No. 35: Filming Tuskegee Airmen: Hawker Hunters. Motorbooks International, 1996.
Search for 'Tuskegee Airmen' on Amazon.com or Amazon.ca.
Videos & DVDs
African-American Heroes of World War II: Tuskegee Figher Pilots & Black War Time Radio (1995). VHS.
Legends of Airpower: Tuskegee Airmen. DVD, 110 minutes.
Nightfighters: The True Story of the 332nd Fighter Group: The Tuskegee Airmen (1994). DVD, 112 minutes.
Nightfighters: The True Story of the 332nd Fighter Group: The Tuskegee Airmen (1994). VHS, 52 minutes.
The Tuskegee Airmen (1995). DVD, 106 minutes.
The Tuskegee Airmen (1995). VHS, 106 minutes.
Tuskegee Airmen: American Heroes! (1998). VHS, 50 minutes.
The Tuskegee Airmen: They Fought Two Wars (1995). DVD, 60 minutes.
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