Jetrader - September/October 2010 - 49

Theater, which concluded that the 99th squadron was at least equal to the other units flying the same type of obsolescent fighters. In the spring of 1944, three additional squadrons were now ready for overseas deployment, and the all-black 332nd Fighter Group was formed under the command of Col. Davis. Upon arriving in Italy from North Africa, the 99th was then added to the group on 1 May 1944. By 6 June 1944, the group was based on the Adriatic coast near Termoli, and from then on their principal task was escorting the 15th Army Air Force B-24 Liberators deep into Germany and occupied Europe to fight off the Luftwaffe fighters going after the bombers. A tactical mistake by the Luftwaffe was attacking the bombers without first sending some of their Fw190s to break up the escorting fighters into a disorganized melee, much like the RAF did with the Spitfires while the slower Hurricanes tackled the bombers. By going straight for the bombers, the P-47s Thunderbolts with their higher terminal dive velocity could quickly fasten on the tail of the interceptors, as could the Tuskegee pilots in their P-51 Mustangs. It was said that no U.S. bombers were lost to fighter interceptions when Tuskegee squadrons were the escorts; however, careful research of army records, and in at least two cases by eye witnesses, give 25 bomber losses—still an excellent record. There was also the incident when Lt. Gynne Pierson of 302nd squadron spotted an Italian destroyer with a German crew in Trieste harbor, strafing it with his P-47 .5 caliber machine guns. There was an explosion and it sank. The 332nd Fighter Group received the Presidential Unit Citation for escorting a bomber force to Berlin on 24 March 1945, during which they shot down three ME 262 jet fighters without loss. It was their longest mission. How did the Tuskegee airman qualify to fly? When Congress in 1941 ordered the Army Air Corps to create black combat units, the War Department set up requirements in education and flight experience which they felt would be difficult for black men to meet in those days of strict segregated schools and living areas. They were wrong. There were a large number of

applications that met the criteria through the Civilian Pilot Training Program and the black Tuskegee Institute. The future commander of the 332nd Fighter Group was Col. Benjamin Davis—one of the handful of African-Americans at that time to graduate from West Point (his father was another). He was the first black officer to achieve the rank of general, retiring in 1970 with the rank of lieutenant general. Following is a direct quote from Wikipedia on the selection of candidates for aircrew training: The U.S. Army Air Corps had established the Psychological Research Unit 1 at Maxwell Army Air Field, Montgomery, Alabama, and other units around the country for aviation cadet training, which included the identification, selection, education, and training of pilots, navigators, and bombardiers. Psychologists employed in these research studies and training programs used some of the first standardized tests to quantify IQ, dexterity, and leadership qualities to select and train the best-suited personnel for the roles of bombardier, navigator, and pilot. The Air Corps determined that the same existing programs would be used for all units, including all-black units. At Tuskegee, this effort would continue with the selection and training of the Tuskegee Airmen.

On 29 March 2007, some 350 Tuskegee Airmen, widows and other close family members received the Congressional Gold Medal in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda from President George W. Bush. It is now on display at the Smithsonian Institution. Bronze replicas were given to those being honored.

Here is a brief summary of 332nd Fighter Group WWII record: • Almost 1,000 black pilots trained at Tuskegee • More than 15,000 combat sorties • 112 Luftwaffe planes destroyed in the air • Approximately 150 on the ground • 66 pilots killed in action or accidents • 32 pilots downed and captured

References:
www.wikipedia.com www.tuskegee.edu www.tuskegeeairmen.org www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets Wings Club Newsletter

Pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group, “Tuskegee Airmen,” the elite, all-African American 332nd Fighter Group at Ramitelli, Italy. From left to right, Lt. Dempsey W. Morgran, Lt. Carroll S. Woods, Lt. Robert H. Nelron, Jr., Capt. Andrew D. Turner, and Lt. Clarence P. Lester. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Jetrader 49


http://www.wikipedia.com http://www.tuskegee.edu http://www.tuskegeeairmen.org http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets

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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