The Tuskegee Airmen Essay

955 words 4 pages
Uchenna Ekeh
Mrs. Reed
Composition and Reading
21 February 2012
The Red Tails: Their influence from the ground and up. Being the first of anything is never easy, especially when you are representing a whole race. Knowing this, it was difficult for the Tuskegee Airmen, a.k.a. Red Tails for the red mark on the tail of their aircraft, to participate in World War II as the first African-American pilots in history. They served from 1943-1945, collecting marvelous records and earning great respect for their performance. But most importantly, the Red Tails helped attain equal rights for African-Americans. The Tuskegee Airmen showed persistence in the struggle to participate in the war, which set a precedent for colored-people, they showed
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According to Lynn Homan, the author of Black Knights, they tallied one of the best flying records of all-time. “Of their 926 that graduated to become Tuskegee Airmen, 66 were killed. They shot 111 enemy airplanes down, destroying 150 others on ground and sank a German destroyer...participating in Italy, France, Sicily, Germany, and the Balkans(Lynn Homan 14). Through their statistics, the famed Red Tails proved that not only could African-Americans compare with the status-quo, but they were capable of setting new standards for excellent piloting. In addition, the Tuskegee Airmen’s success opened opportunities for them in combat. By the time the Tuskegee Airmen were known as the Red-Tails, they became feared by any enemy aircraft in the sky or ground. They were offered more combat missions as well as bombing escorts in response to those acts of bravery For instance Lynn Homan once more states that the Tuskegee airmen “succeeded in 200 bomber missions, not losing one single bomber to the enemy.“(33). This did not slow the success of the Tuskegee Airmen. Encyclopedia Britannica records the Red Tails “flew 1,578 missions and 15,533 sorties, destroyed 261 enemy aircraft, and won more than 850 medals.”(“The Tuskegee Airmen”). Regardless of the type they were assigned, with more missions, came more opportunities for triumph. The Red Tails were a force to be reckoned with. But the most important part was that