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This is a heartwarming and true story close to our presenter’s heart. As a young boy, Jerry Whiting’s father told him a story about these pilots called “Red Tails”. Jerry’s dad was a tail gunner on a B-24 bomber, flying out of Italy in WWII. He talked little about the war and his role in it, but often shared a story about the Red Tails. He described them as a group of black fighter pilots who escorted the bombers on several occasions. He described an incident that happened not in the air, but on the ground. Several bombers couldn’t make it back to their base in southern Italy, on December 29, 1944 while returning from a combat mission. Their field was snowed in, so they began looking for fields to land along the coast, fields without snow. They found a fighter field at Ramitelli and 17 bombers landed there. Ramitelli was the all-segregated field of the Red Tails. 170 white airmen had just landed unannounced, uninvited and unexpected at the all-black base. In his presentation Jerry tells what happened during the 5 days they spent together. He also relates the making of his documentary, New Year’s at Ramitelli, about this story and the reunion Jerry arranged in 2014 between the bomber airmen and the Red Tails.
Presenter: Jerry Whiting
Program free with regular paid admission.