Red Tail Resistance

Flying with the Tuskegee Airmen

"Finally we went out to the aviation field, where a Civil Aeronautics unit for the teaching of colored pilots is in full swing. They have advanced training here, and some of the students went up and did acrobatic flying for us. These boys are good pilots. I had the fun of going up in one of the tiny training planes with the head instructor, and seeing this interesting countryside from the air.

The days at Tuskegee have given me much to think about. To see a group of people working together for improvement of undesirable conditions is very heartening."

Editor's Note: In 1941, Eleanor Roosevelt made a widely publicized visit to the Tuskegee Army Air Field in Tuskegee, Alabama. During the visit, Roosevelt flew over the skies of Alabama with flight instructor, Charles Anderson. Photographs and press coverage of the occasion helped the airmen gain national visibility, and convinced Franklin Delano Roosevelt of their ability to serve in the European Theater and North Africa. This excerpt from Roosevelt's "My Day" column demonstrates her support of black pilots, and sparked a long term correspondence with some of the airmen.