The Tuskegee Airmen
airmen2The Americans who would become known as the Tuskegee Airmen wanted to fight for freedom as pilots during World War II. What made them different from the thousands of others with the same patriotic zeal was that they were black at a time when the U.S. military had no black pilots or air support crews. In the 1940s, the ignorance of segregation and prejudice was a sad part of American culture. This meant the U.S. military wouldn’t give black men a chance to train as pilots, but as the country geared up for war, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was pressured to change that. He ordered the Army Air Corps to set up a pilot training program in Tuskegee, Alabama. The program was not expected to be successful, but the young black soldiers who worked so hard to become America’s first black military pilots proved everyone wrong. Learn More
CAF Red Tail Squadron
reconstructionThe mission of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron is to share the inspiring legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen – America’s first black military pilots and their support personnel. Their success in triumphing over adversity during WWII can still inspire people of all ages to rise above obstacles they may face.

The CAF Red Tail Squadron team does this three ways:

1. Provides educational materials and innovative ideas for teachers and others who work with youth so the young people they guide can be motivated to set goals and “rise above” any obstacles in order to achieve success.

2.  Brings the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit to air shows and other venues so that people of all ages can learn more about and learn from what the Tuskegee Airmen accomplished during World War II and beyond.

3. Flies a rare World War II-vintage P-51C red-tailed Mustang at air shows across the country to create interest in the military history of the Tuskegee Airmen who flew similar red-tailed Mustangs over Europe from 1943 to 1945.

Motivated by the Tuskegee Airmen’s example, the CAF Red Tail Squadron overcame numerous obstacles to restore this red-tailed P-51C Mustang fighter such as the Airmen flew in WWII. The Squadron actually restored the airplane twice: first in the 1990s and again from 2004 to 2009 after a tragic crash.

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The Mustang
The CAF Red Tail Squadron restored and flies this rare P-51C model Mustang fighter to create interest in the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, who flew P-51s just like it during WWII.   The red tail and the sound of the powerful Merlin engine ensure a crowd will gather wherever the Mustang appears at an air show. Learn More
RISE Above Traveling Exhibit
RA_all picsThe CAF Red Tail Squadron’s mission is to educate people – especially students – about the Tuskegee Airmen.  To do that, it also has to touch on World War II, general aviation history, different types of airplanes, and the modern day.  The Squadron’s “Rise Above” educational program reflects not only the history of the Tuskegee Airmen, but also some of American history as well.  It uses the red-tailed P-51C Mustang and the unique RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit as tools to help people be inspired to rise above their own obstacles in order to reach their goals. Learn More
The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron, and the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit are not affiliated with Tuskegee Airmen Inc. All funds donated to the CAF Red Tail Squadron are used by the CAF in our education and aviation outreach programs in our effort to educate and inspire young people with the lessons and heritage of the Tuskegee Airmen. Endorsement of CAF activities by original Tuskegee Airmen, members of Tuskegee Airmen Inc. or their family members should not be considered to be an endorsement by Tuskegee Airmen Inc.