Tuskegee Airmen Facts and Figures
- The first class of 13 cadets began training at Tuskegee, Alabama on July 19,1941. From that class, 5 cadets (to include then-Captain Benjamin O. Davis) completed training and were awarded their wings on March 7, 1942.
- 992 Black pilots graduated from Tuskegee, with the last class finishing on
- The Tuskegee Airmen were grouped into 4 flying squadrons;
the 99th, 100th, 301st & 302nd. These four squadrons were combined
to form the 332nd Fighter Group.
- Additionally, some Tuskegee Airmen were trained in B-25 bombers and formed the 447th Bomber Group, however WWII ended before these pilots could be deployed.
Combat Statistics Included:
- 409 German aircraft shot down or damaged on the ground
- 950 ground transportation units (trucks, railroad cars, etc) destroyed
- 1 German Navy destroyer sunk by aircraft machine gun fire alone
- Aircraft flown: P-39, P-40, P-47, P-51
- 15,553 combat sorties flown
- 1,578 total missions flown
- 200 bomber escort missions flown, with an unmatched record of never having lost a bomber under their protection to enemy aircraft attacks.
- 66 Tuskegee pilots killed in combat
- 32 Tuskegee pilots shot down who became prisoners of war
- Combat awards included over 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses and Legions of Merit, along with The Red Star of Yugoslavia
Primarily due to the outstanding wartime accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen, in July 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 9981 which officially integrated the U.S. Air Force. The U.S. Army became integrated in 1951, with other services soon following.
Famous Tuskegee Airmen include:
Gen. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. — America’s first Black General/West Point Graduate
Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James — America’s first 4-star General
Maj. Gen Lucius Theus
Mr. Coleman Young–former mayor of Detroit
To help preserve their history and legacy, the first chapter of The Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. was founded in Detroit, Michigan in 1972. There are currently 45 chapters throughout the United Sates and Europe, each with the goal of educating young African Americans about the rich history of the Tuskegee Airmen and motivate them toward the goal of continuing their education.
Additional information can be found at WWW.TUSKEGEEAIRMEN.ORG