THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN MUTINY AT FREEMAN FIELD
by Lt. Col. James C. Warren
Arrested African-American officers of the 477th Bombardment Group at Freeman Field, Indiana, await transport to Godman Field, Kentucky, April 1945
The Tuskegee Airmen Mutiny at Freeman Field is about the arrest of 162 Black Army Air Force officers at Freeman Field Indiana, when they demanded lawful entry into the white officer's club. This story tells of the segregation and discriminatory practices perpetrated against these courageous young men by their white commanders. When Black officers demanded lawful entry into the white officers club, they were arrested. This event certainly played a significant part in the decision made by President Harry S. Truman, in 1948 to issue his famous Executive Order 9981, which brought an end to official segregation in the armed forces.
The story is of historical, political and social interest. Nine years before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mrs. Rosa Parks ignited the nation by refusing to obey the segregation laws of the Montgomery, Alabama Bus Company--104 Black Army Air Force Officers entered a segregated Officers Club at Freeman Field, Indiana and defied the power of the racist commanding general of the 1st Army Air Force and his equally racist group commander, by refusing to leave until arrested. Lt Col. Warren was instrumental in the planning of the protest and was in the first group of officers to be arrested. 101 Black officers later refused a direct order from their commanding officer to sign an endorsement to a regulation agreeing to be segregated and discriminated against. Refusing to obey a direct order of a superior officer in wartime was a violation of the 64th Article of War. The maximum punishment for this offence was death.
The Tuskegee Airmen Mutiny at Freeman Field is the accurately detailed, well researched and brilliantly written account of this historical event. This book should be in every family’s library.
Here are a couple of comments from two of those letters:
“You see from the time I was small, my Dad told me about the Tuskegee Airmen and, as a result, I have ever held you in the greatest awe and respect. What all of you did as a group changed the Army, the Air Force and, ultimately helped to make a new America. What you did personally at Freeman Field and fighting for justice to reverse the wrongful consequences of that incident have added a new dimension to the fight for justice--I will simply send along my sincerest, heartfelt thank you for the lifetime’s worth of courage that has inspired and will continue to inspire me my whole life through”-- A Satisfied Reader
“I received your book, “The Freeman Field Mutiny”, yesterday. It is the most thorough account of the Freeman Field incident that I have seen. I wish that I had it when I was doing research on Freeman Field several years ago. I am still in the process of gathering material so any further resources you could direct me to would be welcome.”-- Writer/Researcher
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