Nutley Tuskegee Airmen
Victor Connell, Edward Jenkins
Victor L. Connell - Nutley
Was graduated from class 45-D-SE, on June 27, 1945, having been inducted from Davenport, Iowa.
Edward Jenkins - Nutley
Was graduated in Class 45-A-SE on March 11, 1945, having been inducted from Nutley N.J.
On Jul. 19, 1941, the Army Air Force began a program in Alabama to train black Americans as military pilots.
Primary flight training was conducted by the Division of Aeronautics of Tuskegee Institute, the famed school of learning founded by Booker Taliafero Washington in 1881.
Once a cadet completed primary training at Tuskegee's Moton Field, he was sent to nearby Tuskegee Army Air Field for completion of flight training and for transition to combat type aircraft.
The first classes of Tuskegee airmen were trained to be fighter pilots for the famous 99th Fighter Squadron, slated for combat duty in North Africa.
Additional pilots were assigned to the 332d Fighter Group which flew combat along with the 99th Squadron from bases in Italy.
In Sep. 1943, a twin-engine training program was begun at Tuskegee to provide bomber pilots. However, World War II ended before these men were able to get into combat.
By the end of the war, 992 men had graduated from pilot training at Tuskegee, 450 of whom were sent overseas for combat assignment.
During the same period, approximately 150 lost their lives while in training or on combat flights.
Additional men were trained at Tuskegee for aircrew and ground crew duties--flight engineers, gunners, mechanics, armorers, etc. Others were sent to Texas and New Mexico for training as navigators and bombardiers.
On November 6, 1998, President Clinton approved Public Law 105-355, which established the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site at Moton Field in Tuskegee, Alabama, to commemorate and interpret the heroic actions of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II.
The new site will contain a museum and interpretive programs at the historic complex at Moton Field as well as a national center based on a public-private partnership.
The Divided Skies - by Jakeman
W.F. Holton, Tuskegee Airmen Inc.
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