Anniversary of the First Tuskegee Airmen
Fighter Pilots Commemoration"
will be held by the Black Hollywood Education
and Resource Center, in association with
the Los Angeles Chapter of the Tuskegee
Airmen Inc., to recognize the first Tuskegee
Airmen Fighter Pilots and honor some of
the surviving members of the 99th Fighter
Squadron--the trailblazing Tuskegee Airmen.
The first five Tuskegee Airmen were awarded
their wings on March 6, 1942, after training
at Tuskegee Army
Airfield on the campus of Tuskegee Institute,
William Campbell, Charles R. Dryden, Herbert
E. Carter, William R. Thompson, Spann Watson,
John W. Rogers, Elmer D. Jones, Bernard
S. Proctor, Roger "Bill" Terry, and Hiram
The "60th Anniversary
Commemoration of the First Tuskegee Airmen
Fighter Pilots" is also intended to
remove the veil of invisibility that has
kept the heroic accomplishments of the Tuskegee
Airmen from the pages of popular history.
These black fighter pilots, in the face
of racism, became known and feared by the
Germans as "Schwartze Vogelmenschen"
(Black Birdmen) and as the "Fighting
Red Tail Angels" to the American bomber
crews they protected, and racked up an impressive
combat record in the skies over Europe and
North Africa. Flying more than 200 missions
as fighter escort on long-range bombing
raids, the Tuskegee Airmen never lost a
bomber to enemy fighters. They flew more
than 15,000 combat sorties in 1,5000 missions
and destroyed more than 600 enemy aircraft.
Of the 992 black aviators trained at Tuskegee
Army Airfield, 66 were killed in combat
and 32 were taken as prisoners in Germany.
Founded in 1996, the
Black Hollywood Education and Resource
Center is a nonprofit, public benefit
organization designed to advocate, educate,
research, develop, and preserve the history
and future of Blacks in film and television.
For more detailed information
call (323) 957-4747; write BHERC at 1875
East, Suite 600, Los Angeles, CA