Some members of the Tuskegee Airmen were assigned to the 477th Medium Bombardment Group, which trained at Selfridge Field near Detroit, Michigan, to fly B-25 Mitchell medium bombers. It was never sent overseas. While the members of the fighter groups experienced varying degrees of both racism and acceptance in the Mediterranean, the bomber group faced the full brunt of racism that existed in the United States at that time. Their officers were barred from the white officers’ base club, a violation of Army regulations. Tensions over their treatment caused the group to be transferred first to Kentucky and then to Indiana, where resentment over discrimination finally boiled over. On the night of April 5, 1945, nineteen black officers attempted to enter the officers’ club there, in violation of provost marshal’s orders, in has been called the Freeman Field Mutiny. Soon, seventeen more joined them, and all 36 were arrested. Twenty-one black officers attempting to enter the club the following day were also arrested. All but three were released following an investigation; those three were court-martialed for pushing the provost marshal, but only one, Lieutenant Roger C. Terry was convicted and fined $150. (The decision against Terry was set aside in 1995.)
The 616th, 617th, 618th and 619th Bombardment Squadrons were organized under the 477th Bombardment Group. They were slated for combat in the Pacific Theater but WWII ended before their deployment.
About the photos:
Advanced Flying School graduation class 44-J-TE. Tuskegee Army Air Field, December 28, 1944. Ivan McRae Jr, is standing third from left
Alphabetical listing of class:
Allen, Walter H. 44-J-TE 12/28/1944 Flt. Officer T67978 Kansas City KS
Cowan, Edwin T. 44-J-TE 12/28/1944 Flt. Officer T67986 Cleveland OH
Edwards, James E., Jr. 44-J-TE 12/28/1944 Flt. Officer T67979 Wenatchee WA
Flake, Thomas M. 44-J-TE 12/28/1944 Flt. Officer T67980 Detroit MI
Herron, Walter 44-J-TE 12/28/1944 1st Lt. 01311585 Memphis TN
Hunter, Samuel 44-J-TE 12/28/1944 2nd Lt. 0840206 Colorado Spgs. CO
McRae, Ivan J., Jr. 44-J-TE 12/28/1944 2nd Lt. 0840207 Yonkers NY
Moore, Flarzell 44-J-TE 12/28/1944 Flt. Officer T67981 Chicago IL
Mulzac, John I. 44-J-TE 12/28/1944 Flt. Officer T67987 Brooklyn NY
Qualles, John P. 44-J-TE 12/28/1944 Flt. Officer T67988 Bronx NY
Roberts, Lawrence E. 44-J-TE 12/28/1944 2nd Lt. 0840208 Vauxhall NJ
Velasquez, Frederick B. 44-J-TE 12/28/1944 Flt. Officer T67982 Chicago IL
Williams, William L.,Jr. 44-J-TE 12/28/1944 Flt. Officer T67983 New London OH
Wooten, Howard A. 44-J-TE 12/28/1944 Flt. Officer T67985 Lovelady TX
Wynn, Nasby Jr. 44-J-TE 12/28/1944 Flt. Officer T67984 Mt. Vernon NY
Tuskegee Airmen B-25 Mitchell Bomber crew 7-6 -2.
Tuskegee Airmen B-25 Mitchell Bomber crew 7-6. 617th Bombardment Squadron/477th Medium Bombardment Group. Godman Field, KY. May 1945.
L-R.: Sgt. Cleveland Albritten, Engineer-Gunner; Cpl. Clifton V. Nichols, Armorer-Gunner; 2nd Lt. Edward T. Dixon, Pilot; Cpl. Arnold F. Bowen, Radio-Gunner; 2nd Lt. Ivan J. McRae, Co-pilot; First Officer Wendell R. Smith, Navigator-Bombardier.
(Colorized enhanced by MyHeritage)