The Tuskegee Airmen: They Met The Challenge
Philadelphia, PA | 2009
"They said Blacks couldn't be pilots and wouldn't make great military men. We proved them wrong. We distinguished ourselves in every way possible. We made that Red Tail famous." -Lt. Col. Hiram Mann
Sitting 43 ft high and 33 ft 14 in wide, THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN: THEY MET THE CHALLENGE is a monumental tribute to the incredible men who forever cemented themselves in Black and American history. This mural is a depiction of the World War II era African-American aviators of the 99th Fighter Squadron, the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bomber Squadron Bombardment Group.
The Tuskegee Airmen not only bravely fought against the tyranny of the Axis powers abroad but they also prevailed through the Jim Crow segregation present at home. Known as the Red Tails, they have become famous for their skill, courage and bravery, and their unmatched success record. The Red Tails repeatedly escorted and protected bombers on perilous missions, earning recognition for great feats in military aviation.
Located at 39th & Chestnut in Philadelphia, Eight Philadelphia Airmen are shown here as young men. Starting at the “navigation table” on the left and moving counter clockwise are Ted Ramsey, Henry Moore, Eugene Richardson, John Harrison, Ben Calloway, Burt Levy, Roscoe Draper and William Cousins, followed by B.O. Davis and Noel Parrish. On the left hand side of the goggles is the great flight trainer Chief Alfred Anderson. This beautiful creation of acrylic and bas relief shows the diversity that made Tuskegee a resounding success. It honors the women and men, both Black and white, the mechanics, armorers, and construction workers who built Tuskegee Army Airfield, who all served valiantly in the Tuskegee experience. Commissioned by Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.