Tag Archives: Tuskegee

this day in the yesteryear: Tuskegee Airmen Activated for Service (1941)

Tuskegee Airmen Activated for Service (1941)

The Tuskegee Airmen, trained at Alabama’s Tuskegee Army Air Field during WWII, made up the US military’s first African-American flying unit. In 1941, congressional legislation forced the Army Air Corps to create an all-black combat unit, and though the War Department aimed to block its formation by instituting a number of restrictive guidelines for applicants, many qualified for service. In all, these airmen flew 1,578 missions, destroyed 261 enemy aircraft, and were awarded how many medals? More… Discuss

today’s holiday/commemoration: Anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin (2015)

Anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin (2015)

On February 19, 1942, Japanese bomber and fighter planes conducted a devastating air raid on the town of Darwin, the capital city of Australia’s Northern Territory. As a tribute to honor the dead and those who defended Darwin, an annual commemoration is held in Bicentennial Park by the Cenotaph, a monument to those slain in World War I. At 9:58 AM, the exact time the attack began, a World War II air raid siren sounds. During some observances, Australian regiments will reenact the attack: ground units fire their guns, and fighter planes perform fly-bys over the memorial site. More… Discuss

today’s picture: The Tuskegee Airmen

The Tuskegee Airmen
The U.S. Army Air Corps 99th Fighter Squadron, the first of the all-black Tuskegee Airmen to see combat, had been based in Africa for four months when they were assigned to escort 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers on a routine mission over Sicilian targets on July 2, 1943. Lieutenant Charles B. Hall of Brazil, Indiana — seen here at far right — became the first Tuskegee Airman to score a confirmed kill when he shot down a German fighter plane. Back home, the Birmingham News (Alabama) heralded the accomplishment of the 99th Fighter Squadron pilots: ‘The Tuskegee trained pilots faced their acid test and came through with flying colors to prove that they had the necessary mettle to fly successfully in combat.’

Image Courtesy of Bernard S. Proctor, U.S. Air Force Museum, via Charles and Ann Cooper

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