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Segregated, Skies: All-black Combat Squadrons of World War II (Smithsonian History of Aviation & Spaceflight) [Paperback]

Stanley Sandler


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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, very objective 9 Jun 2009
By William C. Pierce - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book has a hard time deciding if it is a scholarly work or a popular narrative. The style attempts to mix close analysis and an engaging storyline. These two elements are incompatible paragraph by paragraph, and bog each other down. The author changes references to major figures' titles, given names, and especially rank, back and forth without order or explanation. It smacks of rushed scholarship.

Despite these flaws, the book tells an important story. It covers a lot of old material on the Tuskeegee Airmen, but offers up some important new aspects: Evolution of Air Force policy on integration and race, and the role of Black Airmen in the Bomber forces. These two themes were largely based on original research and interviews, The general background of the Tuskeegee airmen less so.

In short, this book has some really good new material on racial politics in the US military during and just after World War II. Its coverage of the combat exploits of the all black US fighter squadrons is objective, but nothing new.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A STORY DESERVING OF WIDER RECOGNITION 25 April 2011
By MONTGOMERY - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a wonderful book which sheds much needed light on an aspect of the Second World War that has either been overlooked or marginalized for much too long -- the contributions made by African Americans who served in the United States Army Air Force (USAAF).

Herein the reader will become acquainted with the history of the 99th Pursuit Squadron, the 332nd Fighter Group, and the 477th Composite Group (which, owing to racial bias among the USAAF's leadership, never saw combat). Taken together, these units constituted the Tuskegee Airmen.
3.0 out of 5 stars Readable Backstory to the Tuskegee Airmen 5 Jan 2014
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
If you have read The Tuskegee Airmen: An Illustrated History: 1939-1949 or Tuskegee's Heroes: Featuring the Aviation Art of Roy Lagrone, you have seen the personalities that proved Army Air Force brass wrong about black aviators. Instead, use this book to learn about earlier personalities: Eugene Bullard, J.C. Robinson, and James Peck, who flew before the famous Tuskegee Airmen. Bessie Coleman, who ran an airshow, was black and female.
Read about the drawdown after the war; how the 332nd was shuffled around, opportunities for advancement were limited, and unit cohesion affected. But a debate was raging. Both sides of the issue felt they had proof in the performance of one army unit or another- all rather vague.
However, moves were afoot to integrate; in 1948, Truman moved the process by issuing an executive order. Although it may not have been smooth, the situation improved.
For a wider view of black contributions to the war, see: The Road to Victory: The Untold Story of World War Ii's Red Ball Express, The Buffalo Saga: A Story from World War II U.S. Army 92nd Infantry Division known as the Buffalo Soldiers, Courage Has No Color, The True Story of the Triple Nickles: America's First Black Paratroopers (Junior Library Guild Selection (Candlewick Press)).
Appendices list 332nd pilots credited with victories.
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