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Group Description

Under the command of then, Colonel Benjamin O. Davis Jr., 450 Black Fighter Pilots fought in the aerial war over North Africa, Sicily and Europe, flying in succession,P-40, P-39, P-47 and P-51 type aircraft. The gallant men flew 15,553 Sorties and completed 1,578 missions with the 12th Tactical and 15th U.S. Army Air Force. The 15th U.S. Army Air Force's first black general rose to the rank of Lt. General. Due to a rigid pattern of racial segregation that prevailed in the United States during World War II, approximately 992 aviators were trained at the Tuskegee Institute and also at an isolated training complex near Tuskegee Alabama.


They were called the "Schwartze Vogelmenshen" (Black Birdmen) by the Germans who both feared and respected them. White American bomber crews reverently referred to them as "The Black Redtail Angels" because of the identifying red paint on the aircraft tail assemblies and because of their reputation for not losing bombers to enemy fighters as they provided fighter escort on bombing missions over targets in Europe.

Group Information

  • 153
  • Aviation
  • Jul 21, 2000
  • English

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