This archived information is provided by Ron Brewington, we appreciate his continued support:
On this date, the following Tuskegee Airmen events occurred:
11 October 1943: A formal reception was held at Selfridge Field, Michigan, to honor the new first black commander of the 332nd Fighter Group, Lt. Col. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.. In attendance were his father, Brig. Gen. Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., who was the first black general in the U.S. Army; Col. Robert R. Selway, Jr, the outgoing commander of the group; Col. William L. Boyd, the Selfridge Field post commander, and Major Harriet M. West, one of two black majors in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC). (332nd Fighter Group history, Oct 1942-1947)
11 October 1944: The 332nd Fighter Group strafed railroad and river traffic along the Danube Riber from Budapest to Bratislava, and reported destroying 17 enemy airplanes on the ground. Lt. Rhodes was reported to have crash landed at Ramitelli. The airplane was destroyed, but the pilot survived. (332nd Fighter Group mission report number 91). Capt. William A. Campbell, 1st Lt. George E. Gray, and 1st Lt. Richard S. Harder of the 99th Fighter Squadron and 1st Lt. Felix J. Kirkpatrick of the 302nd Fighter Squadron, each earned a Distinguished Flying Cross for his heroic actions on this day. (Fifteenth Air Force General Order 4215 dated 28 Oct 1944; Fifteenth Air Force General Order 4425 dated 10 Nov 1944; Fifteenth Air Force General Order 4876 dated 5 Dec 1944; and Fifteenth Air Force General Order 836 dated 21 Feb 1945).
2 August 1943: Liaison pilot training began at Griel Field, an auxiliary airfield six miles from Tuskegee Army Air Field. 21 students arrived that day. (Thole)
2 August 1944: The 332nd Fighter Group escorted B-17s of the 5th Bombardment Wing to bomb Le Pousin Oil Storage and Portes Le Valences, France. The 332nd Fighter Group mission report for that day (number 42) noted that “Formation of bombers was spread out over area of approximately 50 miles…It was impossible to cover all groups or afford desired protection from E/A (enemy aircraft).”
2 August 1948: Staff Sergeant Malvin C. Whitfield, a member of the 100th Fighter Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group stationed at Lockbourne AFB, Ohio, won a gold medal for first place in the 800 meters track and field event at Wembley Stadium in England in the 1948 Summer Olympic Games, bringing honor to himself, the Tuskegee Airmen, and the United States. He set a new Olympic record in the event, breaking the old record by six tenths of a second. Later at the same Olympics, Whitfield earned a bronze medal for third place in the 400 meters. (332nd Fighter Group history for Jul-Sep 1948)
2-8 August 2004: At the Tuskegee Airmen Incorporated national convention in Omaha, Nebraska, William F. Holton, who was then serving as national historian of the Tuskegee Airmen Incorporated, spoke about and distributed 450 copies of a booklet he had written and published called “332nd Fighter Group in World War II: 60th Anniversary Commemoration.” In his booklet, Holton described his visit to Italy and the old Ramitelli Airfield where the 332nd Fighter Group had been based. He also declared that it was time to “dispel the myth” that the Tuskegee Airmen, on their escort missions, had never lost a bomber to enemy aircraft fire. The booklet revealed evidence that bombers under
Tuskegee Airmen escort had been shot down by enemy aircraft, although such cases were rare.
26 July 1943: The 99th Fighter Squadron flew 12 missions in one day. (99th Fighter Squadron history, Mar 1941-17 Oct 1943)
26 July 1945: Pilot training continued at Tuskegee Army Air Field, Alabama, despite the fact the war in Europe had ended. A Tuskegee cadet, Perry A. Dillman, crashed in his AT-6C training aircraft near Tallassee, Alabama. (Aircraft record card for aircraft serial number 42-48885, provided by Archangelo Difante).
26 July 1948: President Harry S. Truman signed two executive orders, 9980 and 9981. The first set up a Fair Employment Board for federal civil service. The second, Executive Order 9981, mandated the racial integration of all the military services. The order stated “It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the Armed Services without regard to race…” The same order called for the creation within the national Military Establishment of “an advisory committee to be known as the President’s Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services…” which he authorized to examine the “rules, procedures, and practices of the Armed Services…to determine in what respect such rules, procedures, and practices may be altered or improved with a view to carrying out the policy of this order.” While the order did not specifically mention the words “integration” or “desegregation,” that is what eventually resulted. Stuart Symington, the Secretary of the Air Force who had already announced his support of the racial integration of the Air Force, had helped President Truman draft Executive Order 9981. USAF Chief of Staff General Carl A. Spaatz had already announced in April that the Air Force would integrate, and that was accomplished in 1949. (Alan L. Gropman, The Air Force Integrates, 1945-1964 [Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History, 1985], pp. 89 and 109) Black pilots were already training at integrated bases such as Williams Field in Arizona.
26 July 1948: A. Philip Randolph ended his call for massive black civil disobedience against the draft, which he had planned to start on 18 August to pressure the Truman administration to integrate the armed forces.
19 July 1941: The first class of aviation cadets (42-C) entered Preflight Training at Tuskegee Institute. It included Captain Benjamin Oliver Davis, Jr., who was also appointed that day as Commandant of Cadets. The other twelve cadets, besides Davis, were: John C. Anderson, Jr., Charles D. Brown, Theodore E. Brown, Marion A. Carter, Lemuel R. Custis, Charles H. DeBow, Jr., Frederick H. Moore, Ulysses S. Pannell, George S. Roberts, Mac Ross, William H. Slade, and Roderick C. Williams, for a total of thirteen (only five of these cadets completed the flying training at Tuskegee, in March 1942). On the same date, 19 July 1941, Captain Noel F. Parrish, a white officer, assumed command of the 66th Army Air Forces Flying Training Detachment at Moton Field. 2nd Lieutenant Harold C. Magoon, another white officer, arrived the next month to assist him as assistant supervisor. Both Davis and Magoon would serve as check pilots, helping determine who would continue the training and who would be eliminated, or “washed out.” (66th Army Air Forces Flying Training Detachment, Moton filed, Tuskegee Institute, Alabama, Feb 1941-7 Dec 1941, vol. 1; J. Todd Moye, Freedom Flyers [Oxford University Press, 2010], p. 58; Lynn H. Homan and Thomas Reilly, Black Knights: The Story of the Tuskegee Airmen [Gretna, LA: Pelican Publishing Company, 2006], pp. 38, 52-53; Robert J. Jakeman, The Divided Skies [Tuscaloosa and London: The University of Alabama Press, 1992], p. 256, 258). Only five of the thirteen completed advanced flight training in March 1942.
19 July 1943: The 99th Fighter Squadron was attached again to the 33rd Fighter Group, under Col. William W. Momyer, to help provide cover for Allied shipping in the Mediterranean Sea and air support for the Seventh Army. On the same day, 29 C-47 transport planes helped carry personnel and equipment of the air echelon of the 99th Fighter Squadron from Tunisia to Licata, Sicily. Most of the ground echelon moved by ship later. (Maurer, Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II)
19 July 1944: The 332d Fighter Group escorted B-24 bombers of the 49th Bombardment Wing to Munich/Schleiszheim Airdrome (332nd Fighter Group mission report number 29).
(The above information was taken from the current “Tuskegee Airmen Chronology,” written by Daniel L. Haulman, PhD, Chief, Organization History Division, Air Force Historical Research Agency)