Tuskegee Airmen Signed Model WW2 Plane – COA JSAGo Back
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The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of African-American military pilots (fighter and bomber) who fought in World War II. They formed the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Forces. The name also applies to the navigators, bombardiers, mechanics, instructors, crew chiefs, nurses, cooks and other support personnel.
Known as the “Red Tails” because of their unit markings, the Tuskegee Airmen program officially began at the Tuskegee Institute, a highly regarded university founded by Booker T. Washington in Tuskegee, Alabama. The Airmen, including ground support crews, were placed under the command of Capt. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. one of the few African American West Point graduates.
The Tuskegee Airmen saw their first combat mission in North Africa in 1943. They were initially equipped with P-40 Warhawks and P-39 Airacobras. Later they had P-47 Thunderbolts, and finally were given the airplane they would become most identified with, the P-51 Mustang. By the end of World War II, the Tuskegee Airmen achieved an impressive combat record, shooting down well over 100 German aircraft and receiving three distinguished unit citations. The Airmen were also awarded several Silver Stars, 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 8 Purple Hearts, 14 Bronze Stars and 744 Air Medals. Their valiant efforts lead the way to the desegregation of the armed forces in 1948.
Presented is an autographed WW2 model plane. The plane is a P-51D-20NA, Glamorous Glen III, which is the aircraft in which Chuck Yeager achieved most of his aerial victories. Mustangs served in nearly every combat zone, including the Pacific. Over 14,800 P-51’s were built by North American Aviation. During the Korean Conflict, P-51D’s were used primarily for close support of ground forces until withdrawn from combat in 1953. Due to a rigid pattern of racial segregation that prevailed in the United States during World War II, approximately 992 aviators were trained at the Tuskegee Institute and also at an isolated training complex near Tuskegee Alabama. From the first graduating class on 7 March 1942, through the last class which graduated 29 June 1946, a total of 926 pilots earned their wings. Of these graduates, approximately 450 pilots went overseas to fly P-39, P-40, P-47 and P-51 fighter aircraft in combat. White American bomber crews reverently referred to them as “The Black Redtail Angels” because of the identifying red paint on the aircraft tail assemblies and because of their reputation for not losing bombers to enemy fighters as they provided fighter escort on bombing missions over targets in Europe.
The model plane was autographed at an event at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. (9) Signers in black felt tip (“7-8”) include: Lee Archer, Rosco Brown, Watson, Bob Maxwell, James T. Mitchell, Wilber Mason and others.
Authentication: JSA Auction House Letter
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