How the Tuskegee Airmen Turned the Tides of War

The Tuskegee Airmen via WikiMedia Commons

Prior to World War 2, Black pilots were unheard of in the U.S military. The Tuskegee Airmen would change that. The decision to allow African-Americans to train as fighter-pilots was controversial at the time. Regardless of this controversy, the change was an extremely important one for America. It was both significant in terms of civil rights and in winning the war.

These groundbreaking pilots flew a variety of missions, and their efforts helped to put the U.S on the winning side. The most well known pilots to emerge from the Tuskegee program were the 332nd Fighter Group. Their P-51 Mustangs, more commonly referred to as “Red Tails” because of their unique markings became an important part of the battle for the air.

Tuskegee Airmen via WikiMedia Commons

Red Tail Pilots often flew escort missions protecting bombers from enemy fighters. By protecting these bombers, fewer allied planes were shot down, and more missions were successful. By the war’s end, Tuskegee Airmen had run more than 200 of these escort missions and over 15,000 individual sorties. Additionally, these brave pilots shot down 36 German planes, destroyed another 237 on the ground, and took out nearly 1,000 rail cars and transport vehicles as well as a German destroyer. Learn more about the Tuskegee Airman here.

If it had not been for the service of these pilots, more American lives would have been lost, and the war could have turned out quite differently. We honor all who served and the sacrifices they made. For more like this, check out our latest updates, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.