Revisiting the Tuskegee Airmen

A recent story on MSNBC gives detailed information that contradicts the legend of the Tuskegee Airmen, and the group’s distinction of never losing a fighter to enemy fire.

William F. Holton, a historian for Tuskegee Airmen Inc., has found documented evidence that the famed collection of the nation’s first African-American fighter pilots indeed lost several U.S. bombers in World War II. Mission reports from July through September of 1944 show logs of bombers being shot down by enemy aircraft in several missions throughout Europe, while being accompanied by the Tuskegee Airmen.

While Holton says that these findings will only ensure the complete accuracy of the squadron’s contribution to American military history, some of the surviving members of the Airmen are upset at the revelations. Former Tuskegee Airman and Montgomery, Ala. resident Carrol Woods called the claims “outrageous,” and “trying to destroy our record,” in the story which was first ran in the Sunday edition of the Montgomery Advertiser.

The Tuskegee Airmen have a significant place in African-American history, and this aspect of the group’s exploits did a lot to promote their story. Should we be upset about these revelations, or pay it no mind, as it does nothing to diminsh the Airmen’s overall contribution?

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Published on December 13, 2006 at 12:57 pm. 18 Comments.
Filed under black culture,history.