Profile - The CAF Red Tail Project

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South St. Paul, MN, United States
The mission of the Commemorative Air Force's (CAF) Red Tail Squadron is to preserve and share the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, America's first black military pilots. The Airmen served with distinction during WWII (and beyond). They overcame racism on the ground to fight fascism in the air, fighting for a country that turned a blind eye to policies and a large population that discriminated against these men and their families because of the color of their skin. The CAF Red Tail Squadron restored and flies a red-tailed P-51C Mustang such as the Airmen flew during WWII. The airplane appears at air shows in North America and at each stop her crew tells the story of the Airmen and how through persistence and courage they overcame huge obstacles in order to serve in the military. In 2011, the CAF Red Tail Squadron developed a traveling exhibit called "RISE ABOVE" to educate people - especially young people - about the Airmen and how they demonstrated the importance of setting goals and overcoming obstacles in order to succeed.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

69 Years Ago In The Skies Over Hawaii

      The December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was a full-out surprise for the defenders who quickly rallied to fight the Zeros and other types of enemy aircraft looping and turning and strafing in the clear morning light.  As was typical, each aircraft - American and Japanese alike - was painted with "country of origin" markings specific to its squadron.
     The CAF Red Tail Project's P-51C Mustang also boasts a unique paint job.  Most people note the red tail right off the bat, but the other markings also tell a story.  The colors represent the four fighter squadrons in the Tuskegee Airmen's iconic 332nd Group:
  • The red and yellow cowling represents the 302nd Fighter Squadron.
  • The A on the side represents the 99th Fighter Squadron.
  • The yellow banding on the wings represents the 301st Fighter Squadron.
  • The red fins on the wings represents the 100th Fighter Squadron.
     To see pictures and learn more about the CAF Red Tail Project's Mustang, click here.

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