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The Tuskegee Airmen

The U.S. Army Air Corps 99th Fighter Squadron, the first of the all-black Tuskegee Airmen to see combat, had been based in Africa for four months when they were assigned to escort 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers on a routine mission over Sicilian targets on July 2, 1943. Lieutenant Charles B. Hall of Brazil, Indiana became the first Tuskegee Airman to score a confirmed kill when he shot down a German Focle-Wulf FW-190. Back home, the Birmingham News (Alabama) heralded the accomplishment of the 99th Fighter Squadron pilots: ‘The Tuskegee trained pilots faced their acid test and came through with flying colors to prove that they had the necessary mettle to fly successfully in combat.’