THE PURPOSE of the Tuskegee Airmen Archive is to collect and preserve as part of a national effort the history of the Tuskegee Airmen, who broke the race barrier in military aviation for African Americans and other minorities. They advanced race relations through their contributions to integration of the Army Air Forces during World War II and compiled a combat record of never losing a bomber that they were escorting to enemy fighters that is still unsurpassed in United States military history.
THE ARCHIVE is available nationally and internationally to researchers, educators, scholars, students, and others in the public arena to help tell the story of these valiant African American men and women. The Tuskegee Airmen Archive forms the cornerstone of a larger initiative at UC Riverside to serve as an archive of African American history and culture in the Western states.
THE ARCHIVE calls special attention, not only to the Tuskegee Airmen and Women's military history, but also to their many contributions to economic development, race relations, politics, business, medicine, military science, the arts and theater, education, and various other fields. The University is working with the Tuskegee Airmen and Women to collect their personal letters; photographs; petitions; documentation of their careers before, during, and after military service; books by and about the Airmen; diaries; records of the regional and local chapters; posters; and, other historic resources.
THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN, trained as fighter pilots, mechanics, and medics, etc., flew combat missions as bomber escorts in the European theater and never lost a bomber to enemy aircraft. Altogether 992 pilots graduated from the Tuskegee Army Air Field courses. They flew 1,578 missions and 15,533 sorties, destroyed 261 enemy aircraft, and won over 850 medals. In early 2007 the Tuskegee Airmen were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, which was approved by the U.S. Congress and conferred by President Bush on April 11, 2006.
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