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But it still takes so long

“Before the war, only nine black Americans possessed commercial pilot certificates, and fewer than three hundred had private licenses. Training began at Tuskegee Army Air Field in July 1941; the first pilots received their wings the following spring, then waited a year before deploying to North Africa as the only black AAF unit in a combat zone. Commanding the squadron was Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., the thirty-year-old son of the Army’s sole black general. Young Davis at West Point had endured four years of silence from classmates who refused to speak to him because of his race, reducing him to what he called ‘an invisible man.’ From that ordeal, and from the segregated toilets, theaters, and clubs at Tuskegee, Davis concluded that blacks ‘could best overcome racist attitudes through their achievements,’ including prowess in the cockpit.” – Rick Atkinson, The Day of Battle

Published inEconomicsPolitics & LawRick Atkinson

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