George Lucas brought the incredible stories of the "Red Tails"—the first African-American military aviators in the U.S. Army—to the big screen earlier this year with a fictionalized action-adventure portrayal.
During World War II, they guided and guarded American pilots on bombing missions. The allies called some of the airmen "red tails," because of the crimson painted on the tails of their P-47's. They were also known as the Tuskegee Airmen, and six were honored recently at Venice Beach.
Tillmon was drafted into the army in 1943 during his third year in college. He was trained as a crew member for heavy bomber aircraft, earning the rank of second lieutenant during his service, according to the newspaper.
Like Tillmon, not all of the Tuskegee men were pilots. He told the newspaper, “the pilots get the credit, and they should... But we were all a part of the program.”
FOR THE FULL STORY ON TILLMON AND HIS WORLD WAR II EXPERIENCE, VISIT ARGONAUTNEWSPAPER.COM.