A flight crew from Scott Air Force Base (SAFB) has made history by landing a C-21 aircraft at Sharpe Field in Alabama, formerly known as Tuskegee Army Airfield, just before Veterans Day. Captains Kyle Green and Johnny Frye traveled from SAFB to the civilian airfield to speak with student pilots about Black military men’s contributions throughout history, according to FOX2.
The Red Tail Flight Academy was named after the Tuskegee Airmen who trained at the same base over eight decades earlier.
Capt. Frye, a native of Fort Worth, Texas, said, “I think it’s vital because it’s easy to forget.” “We weren’t alive at the time, and simply looking at the history of what they went through gives us a sense of what they went through.”
The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American aviators in America, serving during a time when the American Army was still segregated. Despite enduring discrimination both inside and outside the army, the 332nd Fighter Group and the 99th Pursuit Squadron were the only Black groups that served in World War II and were regarded as very successful.
During World War II, they flew over 15,000 solo sorties in Europe and North Africa after receiving training at the Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama. According to History, their outstanding performance earned them more than 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses and subsequently aided in the integration of the US armed forces.
For the past six years, Green and Frye have been flying for the military. According to Montgomery Adviser, during their visit to Alabama’s historic Tuskegee airfield, they gave personal tours of the C-21 to the kids they spoke with and visited the famous Tuskegee University. The pilots expressed satisfaction with their flight.
According to FOX2, Capt. Green, who lives in Milwaukee, stated, “Just being able to accomplish something that hasn’t been accomplished before and the historical significance of coming to a field where soldiers that look like us trained.”
“Things have changed since then, but their legacy and the hardships they faced should be recorded in history and never forgotten!”