Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 48

aviation history

Tuskegee Airmen
Flying with distinction

Maj. James A. Ellison reviews first class of Tuskegee Airmen (BT-13 visible on left).

A

By Bill Bath

At the 24 March 2010, Wings Club annual meeting to select new president Jeff Knittel, ISTAT Senior Appraiser, there were more than 60 WWII Veteran airmen, families and friends on hand for the presentation of the joint Wings Club/International Aviation Women’s Association Outstanding Aviator Award to representatives from the Claude B. Govan Tri-state Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen. These men were the first African American military aviators to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. It was not until 1948, when President Harry Truman signed Executive Order 9981, that segregation in the military was abolished. Prior to the order, black officers were barred from the white officers club and frequently confined to their base in the southern states so as to avoid breaking local Jim Crow laws. Before these airmen, no U.S. military pilot had been an African American. In 1941 it was Congress who forced the Army Air Corp to create a black fighter group (332nd) which eventually comprised four squadrons, 99th, 100th, 301st and 302nd. Their first combat aircraft were the obsolescent Curtis P-40 Warhawks (Tomahawks

in the RAF), in which they first flew combat missions in the 1943 North African campaign before shipping to Sicily after the Allied landing in July of the same year. Their aircraft was no match against the Messerschmitt Bf 109, as shown by a Luftwaffe ace who shot down seven South African Air Force P-40s over the Western Desert using an average of 11 shells per target. In 1944 they flew an even worse performing aircraft, the Bell Airacobra, which not having a supercharger for its underpowered Allison engine, was useless above 15,000 feet. Fortunately they soon received P-47 Thunderbolts, and finally the aircraft they are associated with, the P-51 Mustang. The 99th squadron was the first unit to arrive in North Africa and was attached to the 33rd fighter group whose white commander, Col. William Momyer, imposed rigid racial segregation regulations, preventing the inexperienced newcomers from obtaining guidance from campaign hardened veteran pilots. They eventually obtained a week of briefing on tactics from a Col. Phillip Cochran and were then

P-51D “Mustang”

sent out attacking ground targets in Sicily prior to the Allied invasion. Col. Momyer told journalists that the 99th squadron was composed of incompetent pilots who had no experience of air combat; comments which received wide circulation in the United States, including Time magazine. A House Armed Services Committee then held hearings and recommended that a request be sent to President Franklin D. Roosevelt to disband the squadron; however, vigorous intervention by colonels Davis and O’Donnell prevented the report being sent. Gen. Harley “Hap” Arnold, Chief of the United States Army Air Corps, ordered a review of P-40 equipped squadrons in the Middle East

48 The official publication of the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Jetrader - September/October 2010

Jetrader - September/October 2010
A Message from the President
Contents
Calendar/New
Q&A: Dr. Alan Epstein
Commercial Outlook is Up as Economies Rebound
Crisis, What Crisis?
The Big Question
Funding Fundamentals
Is That a Lawsuit in Your Luggage?
AFRA Sets Ambitious Challenge for Aircraft Recycling Sector
Road to Recovery
Remembering Hafthor Hafsteinsson
License to Fly
Aircraft Appraisals
From the ISTAT Foundation
Aviation History
Advertiser.com/Advertiser Index
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - Jetrader - September/October 2010
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - Cover2
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - A Message from the President
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 4
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - Contents
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 6
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - Calendar/New
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 8
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - Q&A: Dr. Alan Epstein
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 10
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 11
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - Commercial Outlook is Up as Economies Rebound
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 13
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 14
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 15
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - Crisis, What Crisis?
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 17
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 18
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 19
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 20
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - The Big Question
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 22
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 23
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - Funding Fundamentals
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 25
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 26
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 27
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 28
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - Is That a Lawsuit in Your Luggage?
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 30
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 31
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - AFRA Sets Ambitious Challenge for Aircraft Recycling Sector
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 33
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 34
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 35
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - Road to Recovery
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 37
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 38
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - Remembering Hafthor Hafsteinsson
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 40
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 41
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 42
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - License to Fly
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 44
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - Aircraft Appraisals
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 46
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - From the ISTAT Foundation
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - Aviation History
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 49
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - Advertiser.com/Advertiser Index
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - Cover3
Jetrader - September/October 2010 - Cover4
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