KEYC - WWII Legends Tell Their Story At The Waseca County Fair

WWII Legends Tell Their Story At The Waseca County Fair

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For the longest time, their story went untold. The all-black fighter pilots during World War II, known as the Tuskegee Airmen.
 
The graduates from the Tuskegee Army Airfield would go on to 332nd Fighter Group, flying missions in North Africa and Italy throughout World War II.

And they quickly built up a stellar reputation.
 
"The white pilots wanted to be aces. Shoot down five aircraft in a day. Colonel Davis told the Tuskegee aircraft: you guard the aircraft. That's what they did. They became so efficient at it that everyone wanted them. They knew that if the Tuskegee airmen were around, they'd make it home," Bill Welborne said.

They were men at war, and despite the larger social implications of what they were doing, they had the same concerns as everyone else. Doing their jobs, and staying alive.
 
"I wanted to go overseas, do my missions, and come back home. I flew 63 sortie missions in less than a year. Then I came back home," Washington Ross said.

Still, the fight for Civil Rights was still far from won once the war was over.
 
"You were treated well overseas. It's when you came back home that it was segregated. After all the things the pilots did, won a lot of medals, but when they came back it was whites through one door and blacks through the other when they came off the ship," Frederick Henry said.

The Tuskegee Airmen exhibit is open from noon to nine at the Waseca County Fair through Sunday.

-- KEYC News 12.