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Red-tail angels : the story of the Tuskegee airmen of World War II /

A history of African American pilots with a focus on World War II. Full description

Main Author:
Other Authors: McKissack, Fredrick.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Walker and Co., 1995
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A history of African American pilots with a focus on World War II.


Authors' Notep. vii
Introductionp. 3
11900-1939p. 13
21940p. 37
31941p. 49
41942p. 61
51943p. 71
61944p. 85
71945p. 109
Epilogue: 1946-1948p. 121
Appendixp. 127
Bibliographyp. 129
Indexp. 132

Review by Booklist Review

Gr. 6-8. This history of America's first black military aviators is as carefully researched and finely crafted as the McKissacks' previous works on Pullman porters and the civil-rights movement. After a brief account of African American aviation pioneers, they focus on the formation and training of the 332nd Fighter Group and its exploits in the North African and European campaigns of World War II. The liberal use of firsthand accounts adds an emotional intensity that makes the book nearly impossible to put down, with the experiences of Gen. Benjamin Davis, Gen. Daniel "Chappie" James, and other Tuskegee airmen revealing the extraordinary courage, determination, and sheer grit needed to survive and succeed. Readers will share the McKissacks' admiration for the Red-Tail Angels, who faced not only enemy pilots but also demoralizing and often dangerous situations in the U.S. and abroad because of discrimination and segregation within the armed forces. Black-and-white photographs illustrate the volume, and an extensive bibliography is appended. (Reviewed Feb. 15, 1996)0802782922Chris Sherman

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

The McKissacks (Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters) add to their distinguished explorations of African American history with a well-researched, informative look at the only all-black flying unit to serve in WWII. Established in 1941, the pilot-training program at Tuskegee, Ala., had been designed as an ``experiment,'' without full military support to ensure its success and with many officers predicting utter failure. Despite segregated facilities at the base, hostile reactions from the locals and other demoralizing conditions, the aviators trained at Tuskegee went on to fly hundreds of missions over North Africa and Europe. They were known as Red Tails for the designs on their planes; they earned the nickname Red-Tail Angels with their reputation for staying with the bomber planes they escorted. The pilots of the 332nd division, the McKissacks point out, never lost a bomber-a record unmatched by any other group in the Army Air Force. As the McKissacks outline the history of the squadron, they also tell the larger story of racial tension and bigotry in the U.S. Numerous photos, from both military archives and individual fliers, depict the pilots and their deeds. Ages 8-12. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-The prolific McKissacks have collaborated once again to produce yet another well-crafted, thoroughly researched account of a little-known facet of African American history. Red-Tail Angels is much more than just the story of the black "Tuskegee Airmen" who served with distinction in segregated squadrons and bombardment and fighter groups under white commanding officers during the Second World War. The authors also present necessary background information that delineates the black experience in the military from the Revolutionary War through World War I. Readers learn that, "Despite their performance and character, black soldiers were not accepted by the military or by the civilian communities to which they returned." The narrative continues with historical information about flight in the U.S., women and blacks in aviation, and West Point cadets who faced tremendous odds in their struggle to become commissioned officers in the army. The rest of the coverage moves year-by-year from 1940-1945 with an epilogue for the years 1946-1948. It was, conclude the authors, the Tuskegee Airmen and their predecessors who helped create more "open doors" for the black airmen and airwomen of today and the future. This attractive book has a wonderful collection of seldom-seen historical photos and an extensive bibliography of secondary and primary sources (interviews). A lively, compelling addition to any collection.æDavid A. Lindsey, Lakewood High and Middle School Libraries, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Patricia C. McKissack was born in Smyrna, Tennessee on August 9, 1944. She received a bachelor's degree in English from Tennessee State University in 1964 and a master's degree in early childhood literature and media programming from Webster University in 1975. After college, she worked as a junior high school English teacher and a children's book editor at Concordia Publishing.

Since the 1980's, she and her husband Frederick L. McKissack have written over 100 books together. Most of their titles are biographies with a strong focus on African-American themes for young readers. Their early 1990s biography series, Great African Americans included volumes on Frederick Douglass, Marian Anderson, and Paul Robeson. Their other works included Black Hands, White Sails: The Story of African-American Whalers and Days of Jubilee: The End of Slavery in the United States. Over their 30 years of writing together, the couple won many awards including the C.S. Lewis Silver Medal, a Newbery Honor, nine Coretta Scott King Author and Honor awards, the Jane Addams Peace Award, and the NAACP Image Award for Sojourner Truth: Ain't I a Woman?. In 1998, they received the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.

She also writes fiction on her own. Her book included Flossie and the Fox, Stitchin' and Pullin': A Gee's Bend Quilt, A Friendship for Today, and Let's Clap, Jump, Sing and Shout; Dance, Spin and Turn It Out! She won the Newberry Honor Book Award and the King Author Award for The Dark Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural in 1993 and the Caldecott Medal for Mirandy and Brother Wind. She dead of cardio-respiratory arrest on April 7, 2017 at the age of 72.

(Bowker Author Biography)

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