service of black airmen
in American forces.
Although it's received a great deal of
tension from Hollywood
with films like Tuskegee Airmen and Red Tails,
those films tell the story
of black units.
Those are segregated units in which only blacks could serve.
They occasionally had white officers.
Sometimes they had black officers.
But there's a fundamental difference
between what the RAF achieved
and what the Americans did.
The Royal Air Force in the space of a year
moved from a situation where it faced
or had imposed upon it a color bar
to a situation where it had incorporated
black and colored air crew within its organization,
within multiracial, multicultural crews.
A typical aircraft would have
a Scotsman as an engineer,
a black navigator perhaps,
a tail gunner from Punjab,
a wireless operator from Belfast,
The real melting pot of individuals
in Bomber Command,
and in Fighter Command also there were
a number of black and colored
pilots flying Spitfires, Hurricanes, Typhoons.
And, you know, a really incredible
story of integration,
very, very, important story of integration
because it worked
and because it went ahead almost flawlessly
and there seems to have been almost no conflict.