Colonel Benjamin Davis, Jr. and Captain Edward Gleed standing in front of fellow African-American pilot Lieutenant White's P-51D Mustang 'Creamer's Dream', Europe, circa 1944

Caption     Colonel Benjamin Davis, Jr. and Captain Edward Gleed standing in front of fellow African-American pilot Lieutenant White's P-51D Mustang 'Creamer's Dream', Europe, circa 1944 ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States Library of Congress via Wikimedia Commons
Link to Source    Link
Identification Code   LC-F9-02-4503-330-4
More on...   
P-51 Mustang   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Foggia Airfield Complex   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Benjamin Davis, Jr.   Main article  Photos  
Photos at Same Place Ramitelli, Abruzzi e Molise, Italy
Added By C. Peter Chen
Licensing  This work is believed to be in the public domain.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed BILL says:
25 May 2009 05:23:22 PM

Pilots Colonel Benjamin Davis Jr. and Captain Edward Gleed looking skyward, reminds me of what Leonardo Da Vinci wrote about flight, It goes like this.
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return"
2. Commenter identity confirmed BILL says:
25 May 2009 05:41:57 PM

15,533 Combat Missions 864 Service Medals nothing said in the History books........
The 332nd Fighter Group known as the Tuskegee Airmen, became known as the "Red Tails" flying P-51C Mustang Fighters. The group flew the longest bomber escort mission, to Berlin, Germany on March 24, 1945. On that mission,the group destroyed (3)Me 262 jet fighters, and damaged (5) others without loss of any bomber or any of its fighters. Many bomber Groups requested the escort of the 'Red Tails". Sixty-Six Red Tails gave their lives in combat, (32) were captured as prisoners of war.
3. Commenter identity confirmed BILL says:
25 May 2009 06:42:52 PM

From 1941 to 1945 Black Airmen were trained as Pilots, Navigators, Bombardiers, Air Gunners and Mechanics besides the Support Staff.
Tuskegee Airman were awarded:
(1) Legion of Merit
(1) Silver Star
(2) Soldiers Medal
(95) Distinguished Flying Crosses
(8) Purple Hearts
(14) Bronze Stars
(744) Air Medals
(3) Distinguished Unit Citations
Destroyed 251 enemy aircraft
Sank a German Destroyer
Disabled 600 box cars, rolling stock and Locomotives.

Did you know: White American Pilots were not allowed to fly more than 52 missions, but Black American Pilots flew up to 100 missions due to lack of replacements.
Aircraft used were: P-51 Mustang, P-40 Warhawk, P-47 Thunderbolt, P-39 Aircobra, B-25, B-26 Bombers and the PT-13 Trainer.

The Germans called the Tuckegee Airmen
"Schwartze Vogelmenschen" (Black bird Airman)!
4. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
11 Nov 2009 01:19:55 PM

The Tuskegee Airmen fought two wars, one against Nazi Germany and the other against segregation at home.
Did you know that an actual Army document sent to the war department in 1939 said that blacks had smaller brains and inferior work ethics to whites, and were "low on the scale of human evolution".
a 1925 Army War College Study report was even harsher. It said blacks were "cowards"
and a "sub-species of humans".
I don't bring up this painful history to rehash the misinformation of the past, and its prejudices or mistreatment.
Benjamin O Davis, Jr. was the first African
American graduate of West Point in the
20th Century.
He had hoped his fellow cadets would judge him based on his character instead of his race. Instead he was shunned at West Point
he had no roommate and was spoken to only
for official reasons.
Benjamin Davis Jr. went on to become the
first Four Star Black General in the
U.S. Air Force.

A personal note*
To understand History you have to go behind
the front pages, search elsewhere to find the prejudices, against a people, a culture,
a hope, or a dream.
At times,you may not like what you find, but
it exists.

****** ****** ****** ****** ******

"When I tell the truth,it is not for the sake
of convincing those who do not know it,
but for the sake of defending those that do"

-William Blake-

I have asked myself this question:
How good were the pilots of all the countries
that fought World War II.
The U.S. Government didn't have a report that
was prejudice towards those nations pilots,
both Allied and Axis.
But only towards Black Americans, who could qualify and pass the Army Officer Flight Training Program.

5. Anonymous says:
8 May 2012 12:58:29 PM

@Bill What you say is true and it was terrible.

There are two sides to every story though, including white problems. Thanks to the 1964 Civil Right Act I have been discriminated against many times in favor of black people in the way of job opportunities and promotions.

Don't believe me? I'll give you two examples. Several years after I was honorably discharged from the Navy I applied for a job at a telephone switching station in SC. I was imminently qualified for the job from my experience in communications in the service. I was interviewed by the local supervisor and sent to the main office in Florence to do all the paperwork. They would not even consider me or let me apply because they had to meet their ‘quota’ of black hires before considering any more white applicants. I asked “How many qualified black applicants do you have now in the applications pipeline”? The answer was none. Still, I was refused even a chance at that job.

Several years later after working in broadcasting for some ten years I got wind of an opening for a “stringer” for a Florence TV station. This person was assigned to Myrtle Beach and the surrounding area and would take a TV camera to news events and do a stand-up report which is then delivered by video tape to the TV for the evening news. I was denied even an opportunity to apply for that job, which, again I was qualified for, because the station had to fire the black girl who had the job because she was dropping the ball by being late to events and missing the news deadline. Obviously, this was a personal problem and not a ‘black’ problem, but the station had to take the position that they could only consider black, female applicants in order to avoid any law suits by the girl, the NAACP, and all the others waiting in line to cash in on this kind of thing.

So you see, I never made a big thing about it and this is the first time I have ever commented about it. I think the world is tired of blacks belly aching about this crap. It’s part of history and we should learn it and not rewrite it, and never forget it so we can learn from it. I do think blacks need to get over it though and move on. Blacks will never be free and equal until they can stand up and take on life as an equal, and not as the poor black boy that deserves things handed to him in a special situation or because of the past. I have many black friends who have done just that and I admire and respect them. I am just losing patience with the whiners.
6. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
5 Aug 2012 05:56:36 PM

Your term "poor black boy" sounds racist and has hidden prejudices. A "black problem" you say? it sounds like you never really got over your early reverse in the working world.

My views are bsed on historical fact, but I haven't cried about my personal problems on a public form...Your not the only veteran, who had to start from square one.
All people have been held back in different ways, and than given a few opportunities, for politicians to cry out look see whats being done and all the time keep all people from really becoming equal...
7. Richard McGlasson says:
1 Jun 2020 10:08:02 PM

A friend of mine who was in WWII, Army Air Corps, Fighter Squadron explained to me that when a person was hit with enemy fire it did not matter how tall or how fast or how short or how slow it not pretty. I learned a serious fact we live we die and all that happens in between isn't always pretty. Life is too short to practice something stupid like RACISM.

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WW2-Era Place Name Ramitelli, Abruzzi e Molise, Italy
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