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This All-Black Pilot Crew Just Made History With Flight To Tuskegee
A flight crew from Scott Air Force Base just made history by becoming the first all-Black pilot crew to land a C-21 aircraft at Sharpe Field in Alabama, formerly known as Tuskegee Army Airfield, Fox 2 Now reports.
Captains Kyle Green and Johnny Frye, who made the trip from the airbase to the civilian airfield, spoke to students pilots to reflect on the significance of the flight.
“I think it’s important because it’s easy to forget,” Capt. Frye told the students. “We weren’t living in those times, and just to look at the history of what they went through.”
The Tuskegee Airmen had to fight Jim Crow laws and segregation to win the right to fight in the air for our nation during World War II. Yet, despite their historic advances in civil rights and equality, the Tuskegee Airmen suffered the effects of segregation even on their home airfield.
There were 992 Tuskegee Airmen trained from 1941 to 1946 and more than 350 were deployed overseas. They flew 1,578 missions in the European theater and 15,000 sorties escorting bombers, destroying 261 enemy planes. 66 pilots were killed in action, and the Tuskegee Airmen won 850 medals for their efforts.
“Just being able to accomplish something that hasn’t been accomplished before and the historical significance of going to a field where guys that look like us trained,” said Capt. Green, who lives in Milwaukee. “Times are different now, but their legacy and the things they had to endure should go down in history and should never leave our minds!”
Green and Frye, who have been flying for the military for nearly six years, said they were proud of their flight.
Capt. Frye added, “They did it for a whole race. It wasn’t a common thing for African Americans to be flying in general. Now, they paved the way for us to go do so ourselves.”