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Education Matters

Meet Two Real "Red Tails"

May 22, 2012 11:22am (EDT)
"Red Tails" the movie gave the Hollywood treatment to the Tuskegee airmen story.
"Red Tails" the movie gave the Hollywood treatment to the Tuskegee airmen story.

In time for Memorial Day, the movie “Red Tails” about the Tuskegee airmen was released on DVD. But years before the story was dramatized by Hollywood, two real Tuskegee airmen told us their real stories.

It’s documented in the  Georgia World War II Oral History Project. We interviewed retired Colonel Charles Dryden and Private Airmen Earl Martin. Their stories are often grittier and more heart-breaking than what is portrayed in the movies.

For example Private Earl Martin recounts fleeing for his life after his friend was murdered and how POWs could use the front door while as a black man he had to enter places through the back door.

Retired Colonel Charles Dryden describes what it was like to serve in the army during segregation.

Because of their determination, bravery and skill, the branches of the military were desegregated.

Since more World War II veterans are passing away each year (Colonel Dryden died in 2008), it’s vital that we capture their experiences from them personally in order to pass it down to others.

This Memorial Day weekend, spend some time viewing the interviews with the real Red Tails and other World War II veterans to honor their memory.

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