Saturday, September 15, 2007

Meeting and interviewing Lt. Charles Nolley of the Tuskegee Airmen

Here I am standing next to the youngest 90 year old I have ever seen. Lt. Charles Nolley was one of the members of the Tuskegee airmen. He was one of the older ones. he was born on June 14, 1917. He flew many missions and was ever so proud that his group never lost a bomber over Germany. It was quite an experience to speak to this man and learn so much from him.

Here is the Congressional Gold Medal awarded to all the Tuskegee airmen.

This is the patch and emblem of the this fighting force.

There is so much that is amazing about that group of African Americans who were in this force. They were not allowed to fight. So they stayed together and trained, and trained, and trained.
One day Eleanor Roosevelt came by and asked why they were not fighting.....In fact her question was "Can Negros fly?" ... They took her up in a plane over the objections of the Secret Service and she became their #1 supporter.

By the time they were allowed to fight they had trained for so long that they were the best trained fighters in the world. they never lost a bomber to enemy planes and the Nazi's stated that The red tailed fighters scared the shit out of them! All the Tuskegee airmen had red tails on their planes. As Charles Nolley said to me..

"We were in camp and people would shoot at us, There were Nazi prisoners in the camp and they could go into buildings and movie theaters where we could not go. We suffered from extreme racism, and we took the hurt and anger that was given to us and gave it back to the Germans. We used our anger against the enemies of the United States."

So it was my honor to meet this great man and say thank you. What a classy guy he is. In the audience of this group in which I was interviewing a person brought a message up to Lt. Nolley and it said...

Thank you for saving and protecting us so many times.

The message was from a old WW2 bomber pilot. It was quite a moment.

I spent many hours with this great man. I am much the better for it.
Go to wikipedia and learn about this great group and the strong willed men who were part of it.

Learn your history and find one of these great men and say Thank you!