A-train: memoirs of a Tuskegee Airman by Charles W. Dryden

By Charles W. Dryden

A-Train is the tale of 1 of the black americans who, in the course of international warfare II, graduated from Tuskegee (AL) Flying institution and served as a pilot within the military Air Corps’ 99th Pursuit Squadron. Charles W. Dryden provides a fast paced, balanced, and private account of what it used to be prefer to arrange for a occupation regularly closed to African americans, how he coped with the frustrations and hazards of strive against, and the way he, in addition to many fellow black pilots, navigators, bombardiers, and crewmen, emerged with an impressive struggle list. lower than the command of Colonel Benjamin O. Davis Jr., the Tuskegee airmen fought over North Africa, Sicily, and Europe, escorting American bomber crews who revered their "no-losses" list. a few have been shot down, lots of them have been killed or captured via the enemy, and a number of other received medals of valor and honor. however the airmen nonetheless confronted nice boundaries of racial prejudice within the defense force and at domestic. As a member of that elite staff of younger pilots who fought for his or her nation in another country whereas being denied civil liberties at domestic, Dryden offers an eloquent tale that might contact each reader. 

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Tall and broad shouldered, he filled the front seat in the small cabin of the Piper Cub. Because of his size I had trouble seeing the ground straight ahead on landing approaches from my very first airplane ride in June 1940. In fact, I Page 16 had to develop a technique of judging height above the ground, during landing approaches, by focusing my peripheral vision on the ground as seen through the left and right side windows of the cabin. Although our training planes were based at Roosevelt Field, which had paved runways and taxiways, hangars, a control tower, fences, and objects that help in judging height above the ground, we flew during the day from a grassy field that had been a potato patch.

I exulted. "Yeah, but he ain't here to land this plane either, Dummy," my inner voice responded. "Well, I can't quit now," I thought. "All the guys saw Bill get out of the plane and they know I'm about to solo. So I've got to do it. '' Kinda like that time at the 135th Street YMCA pool when I was about ten years old. I got in line on the diving board with a bunch of other kids, jumped off when it came my turnand almost drowned. I didn't know how to swim! Talk about peer pressure! "Well," I told myself, "this is different because, first of all, I know how to fly.

Twenty-two hours later, on Tuesday, I was right back at the recruiting office with the application signed on the proper line by my Dad in his beautiful handwriting. Holding the form gingerly, as though it was too hot to handle, Sergeant What's-his-name grunted: "You'll hear from us. Don't call us; we'll contact you when we're ready. " I couldn't help wondering if that was, indeed, all. Wondered if I would ever hear from 39 Whitehall Street. , providence) would have it, I did. S. Army officers.

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