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Airmen Outrage

by LaVon Stennis Williams, Tom Philo & Willie Foster

Airmen Outrage

I do not know what to make of the recent uproar over the outstanding record of the Tuskegee Airmen (see “Historians Question Record of Tuskegee Airmen,” Jan. 11). So what if there may be evidence that they lost a plane or two? Abraham Lincoln did not free the slaves; George Washington did not chop down a cherry tree; and Christopher Columbus did not discover America, but do we ever see the White media writing them out of history or downplaying their significance?

— LaVon Stennis Williams
Omaha, Neb.

When dealing with air combat losses during World War II, it takes a tremendous amount of time and multiple diverse references to even begin to find out what really happened at 25,000 feet over a flight path of hundreds of miles.

The claim of no bomber losses can be entirely true — and at the same time wrong. Escort tactics changed throughout the war. Were they assigned to a specific group or just a location in the stream? Were they supposed to have left but stayed around longer and the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) knowing this then attacked having expected the escorts to have left? Was the plane already damaged and thus by design left to fend on their own and thus “out” of normal protection of the escorts?

Unless the person researching can answer all of those questions with detailed references of bomber logs, fighter logs — Luftwaffe claims to show that planes that were under direct protection were shot down by enemy fighter attack while the bombers were in formation — their record should stand.

— Tom Philo

Beaverton, Ore.

8th Air Force Historical Society of Oregon

I personally would love to think that the Tuskegee Airmen never lost a bomber, but is that realistic? I still think that as history goes, it’s important to give the most accurate details as possible. The Tuskegee Airmen are still the greatest fighter pilots to ever live. 

— Willie Foster
Fort Valley State University
Fort Valley, Ga.



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