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.

Friday, January 27, 2012

"Was The Movie Accurate?"

     Today’s blog was going to be about history and landing gear, but a great opportunity for our readers “landed” here instead!  It was announced just two days ago that the CAF Red Tail Squadron will host two FREE webinars (think seminar on a website) on February 1 and 4 - that’s next Wednesday and a week from tomorrow.  The webinars will be in the same format and with the same guests; we’re just running it live twice so that people have a choice as to when they want to participate.
     The guests I mentioned are what will make this such a great event (times two).  Tuskegee Airmen Harold Brown and Charles McGee will be talking about their experiences during World War II vs. what is shown on the screen in the movie Red Tails.  A real effort was made to make Red Tails as authentic as possible, but there’s always “artistic license” when it comes to movies. It will be interesting to hear how the screen version stacks up against these Airmen’s true experiences.
     Many of you are familiar with Charles McGee. We featured him on these pages when he was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame last year. He’s also the “star” of the “Rise Above” movie that is shown at schools and other youth-oriented venues.        
     Harold also has an interesting story: On his 31st mission as part of the 332nd Fighter Group, his red-tailed Mustang was shot down and he spent months as a German POW.  AND he was born and raised in Minneapolis so, as far as the Squadron is concerned, he’s “home-grown.”
     Some other fun facts about these amazing gentlemen:  

  • Both men made the Air Force their post-WWII careers.  Col. McGee holds the record for the most combat missions flown – 409 in three wars (WWII, Korea and Vietnam) and was base commander at three different sites including the Philippines and Italy. Lt. Col. Brown also served in Korea and then posted stateside where he worked with the SAC (Strategic Air Command) until his retirement.  He was current in 20 different aircraft during his military career.
  • Both men returned to school after retirement from the Air Force.  Harold earned a Master’s degree and a Doctorate; Charles earned his BA.  Both men are quick to encourage their youthful audiences to “stay in school!”
     Charles McGee and Harold Brown have both been unfailing supporters of the Squadron’s educational mission and we’re delighted they have agreed to join us for next week’s webinars.  We know you’ll want to join us, too so here’s the skinny about how to register for the events:

To be part of the Wednesday, February 1 event, which runs from 8-8:45 p.m. Eastern time, click here 

To participate in the Saturday, February 4th event, which runs from 3-3:45 p.m. Eastern time, click here 

We also invite you to encourage any young people in your life to join you at the session of your choice.  This is a chance to hear about history as it happened and that’s an opportunity that doesn’t happen every day.

The CAF Red Tail Squadron is a volunteer-driven 501c3 non-profit organization that operates under the auspices of the Commemorative Air Force. For more information, please visit

To make a tax-deductible donation in support of the Squadron's educational mission, click here (and thank you!)

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