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Black Military History - The Tuskegee Airmen (Related Links)

The Tuskegee Planes

The all-black 332 Fighter Group flew more different kinds of fighter planes than any other group during WWII. While not so challenging for the pilots, who say that once you know how to fly one plane, you can pretty much fly them all, it placed extreme pressure on the mechanics who had to service these planes.

"The mechanics really did a yeoman's job of keeping our planes in tip-top shape," says Sam Broadnax. "It was extremely difficult to learn the schematics of completely different engines, and be able to jump from one type of engine to the other."

Tuskegee mechanics had some of the best mechanical records of WWII. The mechanics often worked round-the-clock, sleeping in shifts in the airplane hangers where they were working. The mess hall would bring food out to them, so they would not be delayed a single second from finishing their work on the planes.

Some of the planes the Airmen used include:
  • P-39 (engine behind pilot)
  • P-40 (inline engine)
  • P-47 (air-cooled radial engine in front of pilot)
  • P-51 (the famous Tuskegee "Red Tails")

Equipment Guide

Tuskegee Airmen: Related Links

Tuskegee Airmen - Lest We Forget - Offers a collection of articles and biographical profiles pertaining to the famous all-black fighter squadron.

The Tuskegee Airmen Story - Lt. Col. James C. Warren presents an overview of his book about the Airmen, and contributes background on the group.

The Tuskegee Airmen - Learn about the political and legal pressures that resulted in the formation of the all-black fighter squadron.

An Unofficial Tuskegee Airmen Homepage - Check out a squadron combat record and details on planes used by the squadron. Includes a history timeline.

The Tuskegee Airmen - 332nd Fighter Group - Features a list of combat statistics, and includes an amusing story of Eleanor Roosevelt's ride with one of the pilots.

Tuskegee Airmen Inc. - National organization provides info on its events, as well as an historical examination of the Tuskegee pilots.

Lonely Eagles - Air Force article takes a close look at the Tuskegee Program, as seen through the eyes of its participants.

"Nobody Wanted Us": Black Aviators at Freeman Field - Indiana Historical Society feature recounts the famous Freeman Field Incident.

Benjamin Davis, American - Examines the life of one Tuskegee commander who battled against institutional racism and went on to an illustrious military career.

Address to Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. 29th National Convention - Read this speech made by Deputy Secretary of Defense Rudy de Leon in San Antonio on August 11, 2000.

The Tuskegee Airmen - Brief history features a partial roster, a collection of photos, and links to Tuskegee alumni chapters.

Tuskegee Pilot Reflects on Career, Military Integration - Read about the recollections of Lt. Col. James A. Hurd, a pilot who joined the military in 1939.

Have a Website you think should be added to this list? Email us at: blackhistorymonth@military.com

Contributed by Melissa T. Miller and Military.com Researcher Sean O'Melveny

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