Howard Baugh Chapter

Tuskegee Airmen, INC.

The Howard Baugh Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.          P.O. Box 482        Petersburg, VA 23803           info@hbc-tai.org


Next HBC-TAI meeting:
Saturday,

December 16, 2017
@ 1 PM



The Tuskegee Airmen Story

AFTER WORLD WAR II


Germany surrendered in May 1945 and Japan followed suit in August ending WWII. The entire country engaged in massive celebrations and nationwide "welcome home" parties and parades for the returning troops. However, the returning Tuskegee Airmen were not included. Their WWII heroism and gallantry had not been covered by white mainstream media so the Tuskegee Airmen were virtually unknown to white America.


The Tuskegee Airmen had faced and defeated the German Army and Luftwaffe in Europe only to return to a  homeland dominated by the same old domestic adversary of Jim Crow and his "(always) separate but (never) equal" culture and policies. Victory at home would take a lot more time.


However, some post-WWII Tuskegee Airmen dates/events of note are:


September 1946: The Training Department at Tuskegee Army Air Field was inactivated.

June 1947: Tuskegee Army Air Field closed permanently.

July 1948:Due in large part to the success of the Tuskegee Airmen of the 332nd Fighter Group during WWII, President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 9981 desegregating all branches of the US Military. It was several years before this order was fully implemented but it also marked the beginning of the modern Civil Rights Movement in America.

May 1949:  Competing against (4) all-white Fighter Group teams, the all-black 332nd Fighter Group team won 1st Place at the first ever USAF "Top Gun" Gunnery Meet held in Las Vegas, NV.However, the 3-foot tall First Place Trophy with the 332nd Fighter Group's name etched into it mysteriously disappeared and was not recovered until 2004, more than 55 years later.

July 1949: The 332nd Fighter Group and all of its Squadrons were inactivated.All personnel were reassigned to other organizations that became racially integrated.

April 1991: Freddie Stowers was the only African American recommended for the Congressional Medal of Honor during WWI. Inexplicably, his recommendation was not processed until 1990. He was posthumously awarded his medal 73 years after he was killed in action.

August 1995: Roger Terry was the only Tuskegee Airman convicted at his                                     court martial in 1945. He was "dishonorably discharged' and fined. 50 years later, the US Army pardoned Terry, cleared his record of any wrongdoing, restored his rank, and refunded his fine.

January 1997: Not one African American was recommended for the Medal of Honor during WWII. Many years later, the US Army determined that systematicracial discriminationhad been used during the war. Records were reviewed and President Bill Clinton awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor to (7) African American WWII veterans more than 50 years after the war.Only one was still living.

March 2006: The Tuskegee Airmen were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, this nation's  highest civilian award, by President George W. Bush in a ceremony held in the Capital Rotunda in Washington, DC.