Sunday, March 8, 2009

Tuskegee Airmen

This picture was taken in March of 1945, and shows a group of Tuskegee airmen in a flight briefing in Ramitelli, Italy. The Tuskegee airmen were America's first black military airmen.
Pictured are: Front row, left to right: unidentified airman; Jimmie D. Wheeler (with goggles); Emile G. Clifton (cloth cap) San Francisco, CA, Class 44-B. Standing left to right: Ronald W. Reeves (cloth cap) Washington, DC, Class 44-G; Hiram Mann (leather cap); Joseph L. "Joe" Chineworth (wheel cap) Memphis, TN, Class 44-E; Elwood T. Driver? Los Angeles, CA, Class 44-A; Edward "Ed" Thomas (partial view); Woodrow W. Crockett (wheel cap); at Ramitelli, Italy, March 1945.

9 comments:

  1. I'm sorry Paul, but to win the Mystery Airmen contest, you must identify all 14. *yawn, I'm growing weary of your feeble attempts! Will no one else step forward? Ray, are you not guessing because America beat the Empire to flight? Heather are you still sleeping? No guesses today? Has the Internet finally been stumped?

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  2. The Tuskegee Airmen served us proud and served us well. Thanks for the photo.

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  3. The TA were a rare accomplishment in war, especially given the experiences of black troops in the pacific. There are a number of good books, but if you want a good summary webpage: http://www.acepilots.com/usaaf_tusk.html

    It does repeat the PR claim (not true) that no bombers were lost while the TA were flying escort but otherwise seems very accurate to me.

    -XC

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  4. They look like a tough, determined bunch of brave men. What an honor to have had them serve our nation.

    It's great that we know their names.

    I wonder if any of them are still alive? My dad's generation is disappearing every day.

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  5. I had the honor of meeting one of the Tuskegee Airmen at a Florida Council of Social Studies conference three years ago. He addressed a group of historians for about an hour on his perceptions, the bigotry that existed against a Black airgroup, and the fact that by their actions in Italy (not a bomber was lost to enemy aircraft when the Tuskegee airmen were the escorts) they won a lot of recognition among their fellow airmen - and steps toward equality. Unfortunately, it would take more time for the idea of equality to become acceptable - and legal - to the general population.

    He passed away last year.

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  6. My brother was able to meet some of the Tuskegee Airmen last year in Ohio. Incredible men, wonderful photo, thanks for posting it.

    Nate, you are hilarious! That was awesome....I'm still laughing.

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  7. Great blog, loving these glimpses into the past you're providing us with.

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