THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN
(THE RED TAILED ANGELS)
World War II was a raging inferno as weapons of war and destruction were hurled.
Millions were slaughtered, raped and enslaved as dictators attempted to conquer the world.
The Great Pacific was an ocean of flame as Japanese war lords expanded their reach.
Americans were dying in the swamps and the jungles ---, in fighters and bombers ---, in destroyers and carriers ---------,
or a bloody assault on an enemy beach.
And across the Atlantic a "Hell on earth" as millions were slaughtered and cities destroyed,
By a mustached maniac ----, a Fascist stooge ---, and the jack booted henchmen thugs he employed.
All out genocide was their "final solution" and world wide slavery their ultimate goal.
Would the "Torch Of Freedom" be extinguished forever, would oppression and tyranny gain total control?
The "Civil Rights" ---, freedom and sovereignty ---, of EVERY nation --, INCLUDING AMERICA ---, was being threatened ----,
with the balance of power" in a precarious state.
Would the "war machine" of tyrannical rule be the factor deciding OUR fate?
Could a blanket of darkness descend on the world, could tyranny and evil enslave all the earth?
Survivors of the Warsaw ghetto---, Auscwitz and Buchenwald --, could answer that question --, and tell you exactly what
freedom is worth!
Slave labor camps--, mass executions-, crematoriums -, men, women -, and children-, slaughtered and burned.
When Nazi thugs selected their victims, their doom was a certainty, they'd never return.
One ethnic group was marked for extinction by blood thirsty thugs immune to remorse.
The gas chambers ---, the crematoriums ---, the guns and the bombs - -, were the TOOLS of destruction -, BUT vicious greed
---, lust for power ---, hatred and prejudice was the GOVERNING FORCE!
As the free world rallied a united response, a "Maximum Effort Mission" was born.
The toll would be terrible in death and destruction, millions of families and loved ones would mourn.
African Americans ---, as "second class citizens" understood well the "price tag" of hate.
Though their country was biased and prejudiced against them ---, they buried their hurt and "stepped up to the plate".
They understood bigotry, hatred and prejudice, they suffered beatings ---, burn outs ----, planted "evidence" ---, bigoted
juries — ,white man "justice" ---, and often a "lynching" by blood thirsty mobs.
And often these cowards of bigoted "justice" wore a mask and a robe while "performing their job.
So why would African Americans fight --, a "white man's war" --, while their wives and their children were spat on and
Denied education -, a decent income --, equal opportunity ---, yet STILL these Heroes put America FIRST!
These "second class citizens", unpretentious and humble that the bigot "supremacist" exploited and jeered,
Displayed their gallant and magnificent character, they buried their hurt –, and then volunteered!
They would become the "Tuskegee Airmen" destined to blaze a new chapter in glory.
They'd take to the skies to challenge aggression and history tells their magnificent story.
On May 31st 1943 the 99th Squadron of The Tuskegee fliers,
Arrived in North Africa's "Theater Of War" from where they'd begin their "Baptism of Fire".
Although inexperienced and "tender of years" they well understood the hazards they faced.
NOW they were in the "arena of war" ---, where the Gestapo tortured-, and killed ---, artillery thundered ---, and Luftwaffe
fighters and bombers were based.
In Sicily they scored their very first victory as an enemy aircraft was shot from the sky.
A brave new "element" had entered the war and gave new meaning to "Twelve 'O Clock High!
The 332nd Fighter Group formed as squadrons were merged to "marshal their aerial might".
The Nazis would learn the "Red Tailed Angels" were "as good as they came" and ready to fight.
They bombed enemy targets ---, air fields ---, ammo dumps ---, they attacked convoys, trucks, tanks and trains.
They "mixed it up" with the Luftwaffe's best --, in dog fights --, man to man and "plane to plane".
They escorted bombers ---, a protective "umbrella" ---, beside and above the long bomber stream.
Long, tiring and hazardous missions ---, against "The Third Reich" - -----, the "thousand year figment" of a mad man's
In spite of the odds in this aerial nightmare where the thunder of battle was brutal and loud,
In the midst of the flak and Luftwaffe attacks "The Tuskegee Airmen did themselves proud"!
And as they protected the lumbering bombers they were the "expendable weapons of war".
But they bought themselves a page in our history that "supremacists" and bigots can no longer ignore!
They exposed themselves to the greatest of dangers while escorting bombers and crews in their care,
As they challenged the best the Luftwaffe could offer --, and flew through flak and flame in the air.
When the "drop" had been made and the bombers had turned, heading for home and still easy prey,
The "Red Tailed Angels" were their "key to survival" holding the Luftwaffe fighters at bay.
They did their job well, no bomber was lost to the deadly fire of Luftwaffe attacks,
When the "Red Tailed Steeds" of the Tuskeegee Airmen escorted the bombers to target and back.
They "nursed" the cripples, shot up over target ---, back to home base and safety once more.
Thanks to the Tuskegee Airmen's protection --, more bomber crewmen would "out live" the war.
But the gallant exploits of the Tuskeegee Airmen seldom made headlines, they were often ignored,
AlTHOUGH they won the D.F.C.'s ---, the Purple Hearts ---, and other medals, decorations and awards.
While their families back home –, rode the back of the bus, denied equal rights by the "hue of their skin,
The Tuskeegee Airmen fought for OUR country so America could be at peace once again!
They VOLUNTEERED for their hazardous mission, to risk life and limb and die for OUR cause,
While their families endured ridicule and rejection, denied equal rights by "bigotry's laws".
They were good enough to die in our wars, but not white enough to have equal rights.
They were noble enough to forgive our oppression but not good enough to mingle with whites!
They risked their lives for white bomber crews while segregation was "the law of our land",
That's the epitome of valor and virtue that bigotry and hatred cannot understand!
Decorated for bravery and valor in action but denied the headlines and public acclaim,
Another "edition" in the history of prejudice, another page in the chapter of shame.
They were good enough to fight for our freedom but not good enough to have civil rights,
They were courageous enough to die for America but not good enough to dine with the whites!
But still they refused to surrender to hate in spite of the hate and abuse that they took.
That's the epitome of courage and character, that is HONOR in any man's book!
Like another from the pages of history who was mocked and scorned, disavowed and betrayed,
The Tuskegee airmen fought ---, and bled ---, for their accusers --, the bigot ----, the mocker ---, the scorner ---, and
the hater ----, who refused to acknowledge the price that they paid!
They set a poignant example for all, in spite of hardship, bigotry and strife,
While fighting a "two front war" of oppression ---, these brave Americans proved to the world –, that "they were
really "bigger than life"!
Ivan L. Fail
THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN
NOTE: The Tuskeege Airmen flew P--39's, P-40's, P-47 Thunderbolts and P-51 Mustangs on their combat missions over Europe.
They earned 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses for valor, The Legion Of Merit and The Red Star Of Yugoslavia.
Sixty six Tuskegee airmen were killed in action and 38 were captured and became prisoners of war.
The Tuskegee Airmen" is from my "still in the editing stages" self published book "The Poet's Salute To Valor". Also included
in the book is the poem "Tribute To The Queen"which was enlarged and posted in front of the podium for the ground breaking
ceremonies for what was planned to be the new "Memphis Belle Memorial" but the Belle has since been moved to the Air Force
Museum at Dayton, Ohio.
Ivan L. Fail