Black Experience

New Air Force Trainer Jet Named for Tuskegee Airmen

The U.S. Air Force has named its new trainer jet in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen, a squadron of America’s first Black pilots who flew combat missions during World War II.

Announcement of the jet known as the Red Hawk and which was previously known previously as the T-X, was made this week by acting Air Force Secretary Matt Donovan, alongside retired Col. Charles McGee, who was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, according to military.com.

“The name, Red Hawk, honors the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, and pays homage to their signature red-tailed aircraft from World War II,” Donovan said Monday during the annual Air, Space and Cyber conference. “The name is also a tribute to the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, an American fighter aircraft that first flew in 1938 and was flown by the 99th Fighter Squadron — the U.S. Army Air Forces’ first African-American fighter squadron.”

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