March 16, 2011
Lt. Col. James C. Warren: Tuskegee Airman, American Hero
|Hear the story of one of the Tuskegee Airman whose Air Force career spanned WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Lt. Col. James C. Warren author of the “Freeman Field Mutiny” will join us at our March 16th membership meeting to share his story. He will also be offering autographed copies of his book for sale at our Wednesday evening gathering.
In the summer of 1942, James C. Warren, a 19-year-old underprivileged young black man from Gurly, Ala., read the August issue of American Magazine. An article titled “I Got Wings,” written by Second Lieutenant Charles H. Debow, touched him deeply.
Lt. Col. James Warren poses in a studio in Sacramento, Calif., for the cover story of Senior Magazine, in November 2000.
|Debow was one of the first five black cadets to graduate at Tuskegee Army Air Field and earn his silver wings.
“I was so proud; it brought tears to my eyes,” Warren recalled. “The thought of ever being a part of that program never even touched my mind.”
Determined to overcome limited resources and racial discrimination, Warren went on to become one of the venerable Tuskegee Airmen. As an officer in the 477th Bombardment Group, he was one of the first 19 arrested during the “Freeman Field Mutiny” of 1945; 162 black officers were arrested for demanding lawful entry into the white officer’s club at Freeman Field, Ind. Nine years before Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks refused to obey the busing laws in Montgomery, Ala., the 477th BG was the first group to challenge a major department of the U.S. government on civil rights.
With more than 12,000 hours of flying and service in three wars, Warren’s extraordinary flying career reached a pinnacle in 1973. He was selected as navigator on the first C-141 to fly into North Vietnam to return the first group of POWs to Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines.
The achievements of Lt. Col. James Warren didn’t stop there. Because of his diligence and convincing research, 50 years after the incident at Freeman Field, the Air Force removed the reprimands from the permanent military records of the arrested officers.
|The Freeman Field Mutiny
THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN MUTINY AT FREEMAN FIELD
Location:Mesa Beverage Company, Inc.
3200 N. Laughlin Road. Santa Rosa, CA
Directions: From Santa Rosa, take Highway 101 North and exit at Airport Blvd. Turn left on Laughlin Road toward the museum. The Mesa building is located on the left side of the street just past the museum and Nob Hill south gate.
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|April 20||Peter Stekel, Author of Final Flight Mystery of WWII Plane Crash and the Frozen Airmen of the High Sierra. Book sales|
|May 18||Will Whiteside & Pacific Coast Air Museum Member, Reno Air Races Debrief|
|June 15||Jeane Slone, Author & Pacific Coast Air Museum Member, She Built Ships During WWII. Book sales|