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- January 30, 2012
- Vol. 77
- No. 4
The Tuskegee Airmen: Courage Under Fire
They Battled Racism and Won-By Demonstrating Uncommon Valor as WWII Fighter Pilots. Now Their Heroic Story Is on the Big Screen in Red Tails
"White pilots trained at different bases," says Roscoe Brown (above, right, in 1945 with fellow airman working on plane, and in group picture, top row, fourth from left). "We were trying to be outstanding pilots, and we were dealing with segregation and racism."
Shade Lee (in 1944 and in group picture, bottom row, third from left), who helped write rules for integrating the military, remains bitter about his experiences with racism in the military. "I did," he said, "what I had to do. We all did."
3. DANGEROUS SKIES
On their famous Berlin mission in March 1945, Brown (on left, with two fellow airmen) shot down a Nazi aircraft. "When I landed in Italy," says Brown, "there wasn't any gas. Another five minutes in the air-I wouldn't have made it."
TUSKEGEE AIRMEN PHOTOGRAPHED ON JAN. 10, 2012, IN NEW YORK CITY
Top row, from left: Theobald Wilson, 89, parachute rigger; Wilfred Dufour, 93, technical support; Rev. Milton Holmes, 85, trainer; Roscoe C. Brown Jr., 89, pilot; Otis Foreman, 84, photographer; Eugene Richardson, 85, pilot; Charles McGee, 92, pilot; Floyd Carter, 88, pilot; Charles Lewis, 90, communications. Bottom row: Nancy Colon, 91, nurse; Dabney Montgomery, 88, supply staff; Shade Lee, 90, communications chief; Arthurine Carter, 86, aircraft repair; Roscoe Draper, 92, flight instructor; Henry L. Moore, 90, maintenance; Alton Burton, 88, bombardier; Samuel Henderson, 90, mechanic; Joseph Spooner, 91, armament.
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