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World War II archive photos document Tuskegee Airmen in Europe

Pilots, crewmembers, and other 332nd Fighter Group personnel deployed to a Ramitelli, Italy, airfield are shown in black-and-white photos as they attach armament to North American P–51 Mustang fighters, attend mission briefings, suit up in parachutes, and relax over games of cards.

The group of Black pilots became known for their skill during bomber escort missions, and the squadron picked up the nickname “Red Tails” because of the red-painted tail feathers of their fighter aircraft.

The photos are credited to American fashion photographer Toni Frissell, who volunteered during the war to document the Eighth Army Air Force, the Women’s Army Corps, and the American Red Cross. Frissell’s professional photography career led her to cover subjects as varied as vaqueros riding horses through wheat fields in Chile and nuns clamming in Long Island, New York. Her high-fashion work was featured in the magazines Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

David Tulis

David Tulis

Associate Editor Web/ePilot

AOPA Associate Editor Web/ePilot David Tulis joined AOPA in 2015 and is a private pilot with single-engine land and sea ratings and a tailwheel endorsement. He is also a certificated remote pilot and co-host of the award-winning AOPA Hangar Talk podcast. David enjoys vintage aircraft and photography.

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