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Monday, January 23rd, 2012 by

What Hollywood Got Right and Wrong about the Tuskegee Airmen in the Great New Movie, Red Tails by Daniel HaulmanWith the premiere of George Lucas’s new movie Red Tails, there’s a renewed interest in the Tuskegee Airmen who trained in Alabama.

In recognition of this important movie, NewSouth has released new print and ebook titles by military historian Daniel Haulman exploring common misconceptions about the Tuskegee Airmen, coinciding with our book The Tuskegee Airmen, An Illustrated History: 1939-1949 by Haulman, Joseph Caver, and Jerome Ennels.

As Haulman writes in his introduction to What Hollywood Got Right and Wrong about the Tuskegee Airmen in the Great New Movie, Red Tails, “For anyone who wants to know what in the Red Tails movie is not historically accurate, I have noted some cases. This list of differences between the Red Tails depiction of the Tuskegee Airmen and the real Tuskegee Airmen story is not intended to denigrate the movie — Red Tails is dramatic and thrilling and is a great contribution to the depiction of black servicemen in World War II — but merely to caution those who might mistakenly take the fictional account as history.”

The Airmen commander, for instance, never demanded that the Airmen be able to trade their old planes for new ones as depicted in the movie; the Airmen also did not protect the bombers alone in Berlin. These differences and more Haulman points out with praise for the Red Tails movie but with an eye toward historical accuracy for interested readers.

Haulman’s Red Tails title joins two others: Eleven Myths about the Tuskegee Airmen (available in print and ebook) and The Tuskegee Airmen and the “Never Lost a Bomber” Myth (ebook exclusive). These books look at additional “myths” that have cropped up around the legend of the Tuskegee Airmen, including the myth that the Tuskegee Airmen were the first to shoot down German jets, and that the Airmen once robbed an Allied train to get fuel tanks for their planes.

These three books serve as handy companions both to the Red Tails movie, and to the Tuskegee Airmen, An Illustrated History book written by Haulman, Caver, and Ennels. The Tuskegee Airmen, An Illustrated History is a lush, detailed volume that spotlights not just the pilots themselves, but also the doctors, nurses, mechanics, navigators, weathermen, and parachute riggers who contributed to the Airmen’s success. The book includes hundreds of photographs of the Airmen, many never before published, to truly bring the triumphs and struggles of the Tuskegee Airmen to life.

CNN included a number of these photographs in their story “A midair courtship: Tuskegee’s historic love story,” which profiles Herbert Carter and Mildred Hemmons. Carter was a Tuskegee Airmen and Hemmons one of the first black women in Alabama to receive a pilot’s license, who later worked as a civilian at the Tuskegee airfield. CNN details their romance and also how they broke racial barriers, including when Hemmons was photographed with first lady Eleanor Roosevelt after flying her plane.

Lt. Col. Carter appeared with Tuskegee Airmen authors Caver, Ennels, and Haulman decades later at the release of the book in 2011.

Authors Joseph Caver (left), Daniel Haulman (top middle) and Jerome Ennels (right) with former Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. (ret.) Herbert Carter (bottom middle).

We hope that all of these books continue to preserve the well-deserved interest in the Tuskegee Airmen generated by the Red Tails movie.

* The Tuskegee Airmen, An Illustrated History: 1939-1949 is available in print direct from NewSouth Books, Amazon, or your favorite book retailer.

* Eleven Myths about the Tuskegee Airmen is available in print and ebook formats from NewSouth Books or your favorite book retailer or ebook store.

* The Tuskegee Airmen and the “Never Lost a Bomber” Myth is available in all major ebook formats from NewSouth Books or your favorite ebook store.

* What Hollywood Got Right and Wrong about the Tuskegee Airmen in the Great New Movie, Red Tails is available in all major ebook formats from NewSouth Books or your favorite ebook store.

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