On June 28, 2013 at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, a historic summit of two groups of WWII veterans that faced discrimination: the Tuskegee Airmen and Chinese-Canadian soldiers was held. Meeting for the first time ever, these aging veterans will share their stories with the public on how they overcame prejudice to serve their countries with courage and distinction. The Tuskegee Airmen are African-American pilots who fought in World War II. Formally, they formed the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Corps (United States Army Air Forces after 20 June 1941).
While most of their ranks have passed away, a few remaining veterans, now mostly in their late 80s and 90s, will meet to share their stories. During WWII, the Tuskegee airmen were the first group of African-American aviators to fly in combat for the US armed forces. At the time, the American military was still racially segregated. Many felt African-Americans lacked the intelligence and skill to perform anything beyond basic, menial tasks in military duty. Despite this segregation and prejudice, the Tuskegee Airmen went on to become one of the most highly respected fighter groups in the war. They were dubbed “the Red Tails” after one fighter group painted their P47s and later P51s with a red tail. Please join us for this historic occasion. This UBC opening symposium took place on June 28, 2013, 2013 at the Victoria Learning Theatre (Room 182), Irving K. Barber Learning Centre as part of the Chapman Discussion Series.
Panelists include: Col. Charles McGee, Lt. Robert Ashby, Bill Norwood, Col. Dick Tolliver (Tuskegee Airmen); Col. Howe Lee, George Chow, Neil Chen, Frank Wong (Chinese-Canadian Veterans); Moderated by Don Chapman
Select Books and Articles Available at UBC for more research
Horn, B. (2008). Show No Fear: Daring Actions in Canadian Military History. Dundurn. [Link]
Moye, J. T. (2010). Freedom Flyers: The Tuskegee Airmen of World War II. OUP USA. [Link]
Percy, W. A. (2003). Jim Crow and Uncle Sam: The Tuskegee Flying Units and the US Army Air Forces in Europe during World War II. The Journal of Military History, 67(3), 773-810. [Link]
Select UBC Library Research Guides on this topic