“Our Voices, Our Stories: The Tuskegee Airmen” documentary focuses on two heroes — Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson and Top Gun Lt. Col. Harry T. Stewart Jr. —who were pilots with the 332nd Fighter Group during World War II.
Pamela Alexander, director of community development with Ford Motor Company Fund, shared details about Lt. Col. Jefferson and Lt. Col. Stewart along with the historical documentary, which documents the trials of the Red Tails.
The screening will take place at Space Center Houston on May 6 at 7 p.m.
Before Tuskegee Airmen, African-Americans were not allowed to become U.S. military pilots.
In 1917, African-American men attempted to become aerial observers, but were rejected. The rejections motivated African-American men to enlist and train as military aviators. In 1939, the Air Corps and Public Law 18 bill officially passed. As a result, designated funds and equipment were given to African-Americans in aviation training.
In 1941, the Army Air Corps and the U.S. Department of War created the 99th Pursuit Squadron, the first all-black flying unit. In September 1941, the 99th Pursuit Squadron activated in Rantoul, Illinois at Chanute Field. In the same year, the airmen began the Tuskegee program at Tuskegee University.
On Feb. 19, 1942, the Tuskegee Airmen were initiated into the United States Armed Forces and were able to fight in World War II.
The Tuskegee Airmen painted their plane tails red for identification purposes, earning them the nickname Red Tails.
The Airmen became known as the 332nd Fighter group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Corps. Shortly after World War II, 992 men graduated from Tuskegee University, carrying out more than 200 bomber escort missions, damaging about 409 German planes, destroying over 900 rail cars and more.
The Tuskegee Airmen left a legacy that will forever be known. Their courage and lack of fear made them earn history.