Doubt Is Cast on Tuskegee Air Group’s Perfect Record

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It has been part of the lore of America’s first black fighter pilots since the end of World War II: the famed Tuskegee Airmen never lost a bomber to enemy fire.

Now, more than 60 years later, a leader of the group says he has uncovered records proving the claim is not accurate.

Air Force records show that at least a few bombers escorted by the red-tailed fighters of the Tuskegee Airmen were shot down by enemy planes, the man, William F. Holton, historian of Tuskegee Airmen Inc., said in an interview Monday with The Associated Press. And the group’s losses may have been much greater, Mr. Holton said.

He said his research, first reported on Sunday by The Montgomery Advertiser, showed that though the group’s record was stellar, it was not perfect, as long believed.

Some surviving members of the group are offended by the findings of Mr. Holton and Daniel Haulman of the Air Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base here, who came to the same conclusion.

A former Tuskegee airman, Carrol Woods of Montgomery, called their claims outrageous.

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