Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Tuskegee Airmen Flew High For You

“Our mission of escort was really the prime mission to carry out successfully and this we did. The 332nd became known as the best escort operator in the 15th Air Force. We never lost a bomber to enemy action of airplanes.”
— Gen. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., Commanding Officer, 332nd Fighter Group

Listen up. Today, the daddy is feeling the Tuskegee Airmen, who, as a group, joined the armed forces. The daddy was over at The African American Registry (check em out and give them some dough). They had an informative story on the Airmen. Check it out:

On this date in 1942, the Tuskegee Airmen were initiated into the armed forces. The Tuskegee Airmen were Black servicemen of the U.S. Army Forces who trained at Tuskegee Amy Air Field in Alabama during WWII. They constituted the first African-American flying unit in U.S. military history.

In response to pressure from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Black press, and others, the War Department in January 1941, formed the all-Black 99th Pursuit Squadron of the U.S. Army Air Corps (later the U.S. Army Air Forces), to be trained using sing-engine planes at the segregated Tuskegee Army Air Field at Tuskegee, Alabama.

The base opened on July 19, and the first class graduated the following March. Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Oliver Davis, Jr. became the squadron's commander. The Airmen received further training in French Morocco, before their first mission, which was on June 2, 1943, a strafing attack on Pantelleria island, an Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea.

Later that year the Army activated three more squadron that was joined by the 99th, constituting the 332nd Fighter Group. It fought in the European theatre and noted as the Army Air Forces' only escort group that did not lose a bomber to enemy planes.

The Tuskegee airfield program expanded to train pilots and crew to operate two-engine
B-25 medium bombers. These men became part of the second Black flying group, the 477th Bombardment Group. Shortage of crew-members, technicians, and equipment troubled the 477th, and before it could deployed overseas, World War II ended.

Altogether, 992 pilots graduated from the Tuskegee airfield courses; they flew 1,578 missions and 15533 sorties, destroyed 261 enemy aircraft, and won over 850 medals. The American army's 100th pursuit squadron, a group of Black aviators, fought valiantly over Britain and other European countries.

Tuskegee Institutes' Daniel "Chappie" James Memorial Hall houses the Black aviation exhibit, which focuses on the Tuskegee Airmen, who trained near Tuskegee during World War II.
Know Black History. Know the Tuskegee Airmen. They flew high for you.


Anonymous said...

This is a totally awesome blogspot!
all log on tommorow.


Anonymous said...

I love black history month.
Do it some more with saltwater Tea!


Anonymous said...

good, daddy. filling holes in my learning.

Solomon said...

There is always something good to be had here at the Daddy's blogspot!

That's for being here for us Daddy!

Verna Monson said...

Hey Daddy, Here is a link to the "Red Tail Project" Website, which is dedicated to honoring the contributions of the Tuskegee Airmen. I encourage your readers to check it out -- they have a fabulous "estore" with books, photos, and fun stuff too (I have a hooded sweatshirt.

It just brought tears to my eyes knowing how these men served our country with such excellence, but came back to blatant racism.

Their accomplishments following the war are truly impressive also -- many Ph.D.'s and advanced degrees among them.

Thanks Daddy for reminding us of OUR history -- of all Americans' history, and our refusal to forget contributions of our those who fought for our freedoms.

PS: There is also a Facebook page for the Tuskegee Airmen. If you are Facebook member, join the group and show your support!!

MacDaddy said...

Nappy: Glad you like black history. Glad it's filling in some gaps left from the failure of schools to teach you and me this stuff in the first place.

Solomon: Thanks; and I'll be checking you out on your blog.

Verna: Yes, I've been to the "Red Tail" blog. Besides other stuff, they have a great photo gallery. By the way, I have a friend whose father was a Tuskegee Airmen. I'll see if she will share her feelings about her father. My understanding is that he is still alive but is in a hospital.

Nun in the Hood said...

YOU are totally awesome!!! What a gift you have for inserting enthusiasm for our history in all of us! Thank you for taking the time to educate us all and helping us to deepen our appreciation for these courageous men (and women?)

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

it was great seeing them in the inaug. parade in jan

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Daddy, As an aviation and aviation history buff, I always get a big dose of that powerful feeling down deep inside whenever I read anything about the Tuskegee Airmen. Their adventures are better than any fiction you can possible find.
How they and so many other soldiers from many different wars were treated upon their return home is the part of the story that gives me that sad remorseful feeling down deep inside.

rainywalker said...

The Tuskegee Airmen did a fantastic job for their country and I salute them. Black men have fought in every war the US has had and received very liitle credit for sheding their blood along with others. My veteran brothers continue to fight in Iraq, Afghanstan and in some cases fight racism even today to ensure free speech.

truth said...

Great post,
The Tuskegee airman are true heros. Thanks for reminding us of their great military record. It's amazing they did not lose one bomber during world war 2.

By the way Macdaddy, I heard a couple of them live in MPLS. I heard Cuba Gooding Jr's character from the HBO movie lives somewhere in MPLS/ST.PAUL area. Even though his character died in the movie,obviously Hollywood did take some liberties on certain parts of their story.

I also think the living members do speaking engagements for at risk youth around town.

MacDaddy said...

Torrance: Yes, it was great to see them. Many of them still speak and volunteer in their respective communities too.

Sagacious: So true. Many were treated miserably. I had a hard time reading it. But their contribution should be appreciated by all of us, not just African Americans. They fought for America.

Truth: I know there is one in Duluth. I'll check and see about those in Minneapolis. My friend Jan says she thinks her father may have been a Tuskegee Airmen. She says he was treated so bad that he never talks about it.

Christopher said...

Today is February 21.

The birthday of Nina Simone. One of the best, if under-appreciated singers.

I regularly listen to the Baltimore album for inspiration and to relax.

MacDaddy said...

Christopher: Yes, Nina Simone was born on this date. One of my favorite singers and activists on behalf of the civil rights movement...Tadd Dameron, a great jazz pianist was also born on this date in Cleveland, Ohio...This is also the day that Malcolm X, my number one hero, was murdered. This makes this day a sad day for me. I think I'll do a post about him.

Keep up the good work on your blog. Blessings.