Many Hoosiers played significant roles in making the Tuskegee Airmen story a reality.
Test your knowledge of the Indiana connection:
One Indianapolis resident, flew more combat sorties than any other Tuskegee Airman;
Another Indianapolis resident, served as the Operations Officer for the 332nd Fighter Group, led those three squadrons into combat during the longest fighter escort mission during World War II, shot down an enemy aircraft, became a prisoner of war, and many years later became a founding member, and 1st Indianapolis Chapter President;
An Indianapolis native was one of five members of the first graduating class of the Tuskegee Advance Flying School (TAFS), served as a fighter pilot squadron Commander, and is one of the founding members of the Indianapolis Chapter;
An Angola, IN native was Director of the first half of pilot training for all Tuskegee Airmen pilots;
An Indianapolis, IN native was Commander of the organization that prepared those without college degrees to qualify for entrance into the pilot training program;.
An Indianapolis, IN native was in the second class to graduate from the TAFS. He went on to become a fighter pilot squadron Commander and at one point was the second highest African American officer in the US Air Force;
A Brazil, IN native was in the Third class to graduate from the TAFS. He was the first Tuskegee Airmen to shoot down an enemy aircraft in aerial combat. He was actually the first Tuskegee Airman to shoot down three enemy aircraft.
An Indianapolis, IN based company was the manufacturer of the aircraft engines that were used to power three of the four different fighter aircraft types that the Tuskegee Airmen flew into combat; and
A military airfield in Indiana was the location of a non-violent protest that led to the arrest of over 100 officers for refusing to sign what they understood to be an unlawful order. This event, in combination with the outstanding combat record of the Tuskegee Airmen, is considered by many to have played an instrumental role in the decision to integrate the US military. This city is where the Indiana Tuskegee Airman Highway begins!
The aforementioned facts were supportive of the City of Indianapolis being selected to be the host location of the 2016 National Tuskegee Airmen Convention celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Tuskegee Airmen Experience.
Click below to further to explore the Indiana connection: