USAF report: WWII's Tuskegee Airmen lost 25 bombers





MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- At least 25 bombers being escorted by the Tuskegee Airmen over Europe during World War II were shot down by enemy aircraft, according to a new Air Force report.

The report contradicts the legend that the famed black aviators never lost a plane to fire from enemy aircraft. But historian William Holton said the discovery of lost bombers doesn't tarnish the unit's record.

"It's impossible not to lose bombers," said Holton, national historian for Tuskegee Airmen Inc.

The report released Wednesday was based on after-mission reports filed by both the bomber units and Tuskegee fighter groups, as well as missing air crew records and witness testimony, said Daniel Haulman, a historian at the Air Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery.

The tally includes only cases where planes were shot down by enemy aircraft, Haulman said. No one disputed the airmen lost some planes to anti-aircraft guns and other fire from the ground.

The 25 planes were shot down on five days: June 9, July 12, July 18 and July 20, 1944 and March 24, 1945, the Montgomery Advertiser reported.



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