Fly Boys: Western Pennsylvania's Tuskegee Airmen
The story of the struggle and ultimate triumph of African American pilots in World War II
PITTSBURGH – They lived in a country where racial prejudice and discrimination ruled, where they were judged by the color of their skin, and where opportunities were limited for them. In spite of it all, they wanted to show their patriotism to their country by fighting the enemy during World War II.
The story of their struggle and ultimate triumph is told in Fly Boys: Western Pennsylvania’s Tuskegee Airmen, a new documentary from WQED. The program premieres on STATION on DATE at TIME.
The program is hosted and produced by WQED’s Mid-Atlantic Emmy® award-winning Chris Moore and was co-produced by Olga George. Original music was composed by Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Award winning Emmai Alaquiva, who also scored WQED’s productions of In Country: A Vietnam Story, Jim Crow Pennsylvania, and Torchbearers.
Fly Boys: Western Pennsylvania's Tuskegee Airmen covers the "Tuskegee Airmen Experiment," a military initiative to see if African-American men were capable of flying complicated engines of war. It was a controversial experiment at the time because African-Americans were excluded from the Air Corps because it was believed that they lacked intelligence and courage to fly into battle.
The experiment went ahead and the airmen flew fighter and bomber planes during World War II. They were trained at Tuskegee, Alabama. The Tuskegee Airmen included pilots, navigators, bombardiers, maintenance and support staff, instructors and all the personnel who kept the planes in the air.
More than 40 men from western Pennsylvania served as Tuskegee Airmen, and some of their stories are told in this gripping documentary. These are the stories of the men who lived through the experience as well as from family members who remember them. Plus, some white pilots tell how they owe their survival to the heroics of the Tuskegee Airmen.
Colonel Herbert E. Carter of Tuskegee, Alabama served in combat as a Tuskegee Airman in Italy and North Africa during the war. He is quoted in the documentary and said, “I’ve often said that long before Martin Luther King’s effort, the Tuskegee Airmen set the tone and a pace that had much to do with America facing up to the fact that a man is a man is a man. That you have to accept him for his individual capabilities and qualifications, not the pigmentation of his skin, his race, his creed or his color.”
Fly Boys: Western Pennsylvania's Tuskegee Airmen was produced by WQED and was made possible with major funding from the University of Pittsburgh. Additional funding came from Alcoa Foundation and The Pittsburgh Foundation.
About American Public Television
With more than 10,000 hours of programming in its library, American Public Television (APT) has been a prime source of programming for the nation’s public television stations for 47 years, distributing more than 300 new program titles per year. In 2006, APT launched Create – the TV channel featuring the best of public television's lifestyle programming. Known for its leadership in identifying innovative, worthwhile and viewer-friendly programming, APT has established a tradition of providing public television stations with program choices that strengthen and customize their schedules, such asRick Steves' Europe, Worldfocus, Globe Trekker, Simply Ming, Sara's Weeknight Meals, America's Test Kitchen From Cook’s Illustrated, Doc Martin, Broadway: The Golden Age, Lidia's Family Table, Rosemary and Thyme, P. Allen Smith's Garden Home, The Big Comfy Couch, Celine Dion: A New Day, Queen Rock Montreal, Monarchy With David Starkey, Spain...on the road Again, and other prominent documentaries, dramatic series, how-to programs, children’s series and classic movies. For more information about APT’s programs and services, visit APTonline.org.
About WQED Pittsburgh
WQED Pittsburgh, honored with the 2007 and 2006 Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Award for Station Excellence, was founded in 1954 as the nation’s first community-supported broadcaster. WQED creates, produces and distributes quality programs, products and services to engage, inform, educate and entertain the public within its community and around the world. WQED Pittsburgh is one of the first broadcasters in the country to be fully high-definition (HD) in its studio and field production capabilities. It is the parent company of WQED-TV (PBS); WQED-DT; WQED: The Neighborhood Channel; WQED-HD; WQEX-TV (A ShopNBC affiliate); WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; a publishing division that includes PITTSBURGH MAGAZINE; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive (www.wqed.org); and The WQED Education Department.
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