Sunday, March 18, 2012
In talking with others, you will either really like it...or really hate it. I honestly think part of that would depend on - well - how racist you are. I heard two older men talking about "rewriting history" ... "The Tuskegee Airmen were just escorts." I knew these men and asked, "Oh. And if the Germans started shooting on the air convoy, these fighter pilots just ignored them? Interesting."
Let's give credit where credit is due. Yes, the movie is "based" on true events. No, every word uttered on screen is not historically accurate. IT'S A MOVIE PEOPLE!
However, The Tuskegee Airmen had a fight with the US military going in strictly because of their color. But look what they accomplished!!!
In all, 996 pilots were trained in Tuskegee from 1941 to 1946, approximately 445 were deployed overseas, and 150 Airmen lost their lives in accidents or combat. The casualty toll included 66 pilots killed in action or accidents, and 32 fallen into captivity as prisoners of war.
The Tuskegee Airmen were credited by higher commands with the following accomplishments:
- 15,533 combat sorties, 311 missions
- 112 German aircraft destroyed in the air, another 150 on the ground
- 950 railcars, trucks and other motor vehicles destroyed
- One destroyer sunk
- A good record of protecting U.S. bombers, losing only 25 on hundreds of missions.
Awards and decorations awarded for valor and performance included:
- Three Distinguished Unite Citations
- At least one Silver Star
- An estimated one hundred and fifty Distinguished Flying Crosses
- 14 Bronze Stars
- 744 Air Medals
- Eight Purple Hearts
In 2007, President George W. Bush and Congress presented the surviving 300 men with the Congressional Medal of Honor. President Bush saluted them to help atone for the slights they received while they were serving their county.
But remember - they were ONLY escorts. Riiiiighttttt!