TUSKEGEE AIRMAN PLANE
HANES 100% POLYESTER
All black military pilots who trained in the United States trained at Griel Field, Kennedy Field, Moton Field, Shorter Field and the Tuskegee Army Air Fields. They were educated at the Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University), located near Tuskegee, Alabama. Of the 922 pilots, five were Haitians from the Haitian Air Force and one pilot was from Trinidad. It also included a Hispanic or Latino airman born in the Dominican Republic.
The 99th Pursuit Squadron (later the 99th Fighter Squadron) was the first black flying squadron, and the first to deploy overseas (to North Africa in April 1943, and later to Sicily and other parts of Italy). The 332nd Fighter Group, which originally included the 100th, 301st and 302nd Fighter Squadrons, was the first black flying group. It deployed to Italy in early 1944. Although the 477th Bombardment Group trained with North American B-25 Mitchell bombers, they never served in combat. In June 1944, the 332nd Fighter Group began flying heavy bomber escort missions and, in July 1944, with the addition of the 99th Fighter Squadron, it had four fighter squadrons.
The 99th Fighter Squadron was initially equipped with Curtiss P-40 Warhawk fighter-bomber aircraft. The 332nd Fighter Group and its 100th, 301st and 302nd Fighter Squadrons were equipped for initial combat missions with Bell P-39 Airacobras (March 1944), later with Republic P-47 Thunderbolts (June–July 1944) and finally with the aircraft with which they became most commonly associated, the North American P-51 Mustang (July 1944). When the pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group painted the tails of their P-47s red, the nickname "Red Tails" was coined. The red markings that distinguished the Tuskegee Airmen included red bands on the noses of P-51s as well as a red rudder; the P-51B and D Mustangs flew with similar color schemes, with red propeller spinners, yellow wing bands and all-red tail surfaces.
The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military aviators in the United States Armed Forces. During World War II, black Americans in many U.S. states were still subject to the Jim Crow laws[N 1] and the American military was racially segregated, as was much of the federal government. The Tuskegee Airmen were subjected to discrimination, both within and outside the army.
Manufactured byBoeing Corporation, American, founded 1916Used byTuskegee Institute, American, founded 1881Subject ofTuskegee Airmen, 1941 - 1946CaptionA vintage, open-cockpit biplane—one used at Alabama’s renowned Tuskegee Institute to train African American pilots for Army Air Corps service during World War II.DescriptionThe body of the PT-13D Stearman Kaydet aircraft is painted blue and the wings are painted yellow. The tail is yellow with red and white stripes. The numbers "18303" are white and located on the left and right sides of fuselage. "Spirit of Tuskegee" is printed in red and located on the left and right sides of engine cowl. There are two stars located on either side of the top wing. The stars are white within a black circle. Within the white stars are red circles. Personal signatures of former Tuskegee Airmen are located on the cargo cover.Credit LineCollection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Cultureca. 1944
Credit Line:Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture