8 Books on the Tuskegee Airmen

shelved under History and War

From 1941 through 1946 a little under 1,000 black men graduated with commissions and pilot wings from Tuskegee Army Air Field (TAAF) in Tuskegee, Alabama. The first black American aviators to serve in combat, the Tuskegee Airmen were pilots whose heroic World War II exploits helped persuade President Harry Truman to end segregation across the entire military.

Below are some of the best war books about the Airmen.


Benjamin O. Davis Jr., American: An Autobiography

by Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.

An autobiography of a man who was the first black to graduate from West Point and was also the commander of the Tuskegee Airmen. Over the course of his career he was awarded the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Croix de Guerre, 3 Distinguished Serviced Medals, and in 1998, he received an honorary promotion to the rank of 4-star General. This is also a wonderful story of perseverance, courage and bravery in the face of horrible bigotry.


Tuskegee Airman: The Biography of Charles E. McGee, Air Force Fighter Combat Record Holder

by Charlene E. McGee Smith

An excellent biography penned by the subject's daughter. Lieutenant Colonel McGee has the highest three-war total fighter combat missions of any pilot in the history of the United States Air Force.


Red Tail Captured, Red Tail Free: Memoirs of a Tuskegee Airman and POW

by Lewis Carlson, Alexander Jefferson

The author of this book was a Tuskegee Airman shot down during World War II and held in a German POW camp for nine months. He uses this book to tell how he was treated better as a POW than he was in a segregated United States.


Tuskegee Airmen

by Thomas Reilly, Lynn M. Homan

This book is filled with historical photographs and engaging text that tells the story of these American heroes.


332nd Fighter Group - Tuskegee Airmen

by Chris Bucholtz, illustrated by Jim Laurier

An excellent book about the 332nd Fighter Group and the group's exceptional commander, General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.


A-Train: Memoirs of a Tuskegee Airman

by Benjamin O. Davis, Charles W. Dryden

The author writes a personal account about his (sometimes very painful) experiences as a Tuskegee Airman.


Black Knights: The Story of the Tuskegee Airmen

by Thomas Reilly, Lynn M. Homan

This well-researched treatment of a very important part of American history is full of fascinating interviews, photographs and recollections from the pilots as well as the nurses, airplane mechanics and family members who helped support the Tuskegee Airmen.


Red Tails Black Wings: The Men of America's Black Air Force

by John Holway

The author tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen's 332nd Squadron, the Red Tails. These pilots established a remarkable record as bomber escorts in Italy, where their distinctive red-tailed aircraft lost not a single bomber to the enemy. It also includes many keen insights into both social and aviation history provided by the pilots themselves.