Author: Smith, Sherri L.
Brand: Penguin Workshop
Number Of Pages: 112
Release Date: 07-08-2018
Details: Product Description It's up, up, and away with the Tuskegee Airmen, a heroic group of African American military pilots who helped the United States win World War II. During World War II, black Americans were fighting for their country and for freedom in Europe, yet they had to endure a totally segregated military in the United States, where they weren't considered smart enough to become military pilots. After acquiring government funding for aviation training, civil rights activists were able to kickstart the first African American military flight program in the US at Tuskegee University in Alabama. While this book details thrilling flight missions and the grueling training sessions the Tuskegee Airmen underwent, it also shines a light on the lives of these brave men who helped pave the way for the integration of the US armed forces.
About the Author
Sherri L. Smith is a children's book author, and this is her first book in the Who HQ series. She currently lives in Los Angeles, California. Jake Murray is an Illustrator from Columbus, Ohio who specializes in sci-fi and fantasy art for the publishing, gaming, and advertising markets. Excerpt.
© Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Who Were the Tuskegee Airmen? January 20, 1945
The plane was not going to make it back to the airfield in Italy. US Airman Larry Fleischer shivered inside the B-24 bomber as it limped through the skies. World War II had been raging for more than five years. In late 1941, the United States had joined with England, Canada, and other countries to defeat Nazi Germany and its allies. B-24s played a major role in winning the war. Fleischer’s plane, however, had been hit while dropping bombs on a Nazi air base in Austria. Two of the engines were out. The bombing doors in the belly of the plane had jammed open. The wind was roaring in at sixty degrees below zero. Fleischer had already lost a boot trying to unstick the doors. Now, he was afraid he might lose his foot to frostbite. The plane needed to land soon. But where? Down below, the Italian coast was fast approaching. Fleischer and the rest of the crew scouted for a safe landing area. It was the copilot who found their best hope. He spotted an airfield, but it was one that didn’t show up on any of their charts. “We really were expecting it to be a German field because why wouldn’t it be on one of our maps?” Fleischer recalled. If that were true, the pilot and crew would be taken as prisoners. But there was no other choice. The pilot carefully brought the plane in for a landing and saw that this was no German base. The runway was lined with American planes! Splashes of crimson paint marked these P-51 Mustangs as Red Tails. These fighter planes were famous for protecting American bombers in enemy skies. The Red Tails had saved Fleischer and his crew on more than one bombing mission. As another crewman put it, “They were our lifesavers.” Fleischer and his crew were so relieved! They went out to greet the approaching soldiers, eager to finally meet the Red Tails face-to-face instead of in the air. What they saw was the surprise of their lives. “These are all black guys!” Fleischer remembered thinking. “It was a complete shock!” Why was it so surprising to see black pilots in 1945? Fleischer was a white guy from New York. His entire crew of ten men was white. The only black people Fleischer had ever seen in the army were cooks and waiters. Until now. The Red Tails weren’t just any combat pilots. They were the famous Tuskegee (say: tus-KEE-gee) Airmen. They were the first airplane pilots of color ever in the US military. ( Military means the armed forces of a nation.) But to Fleischer and his all-white crew, their existence was “more secret than the atom bomb!” Chapter 1: Two Americas By the end of 1939, World War II had broken out in Europe. The United States was not involved in the fighting yet. But the military wanted to be pr
Package Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.3 x 0.3 inches