Red Tail Squadrons Unite in Flight

Photo: Mach Point One Aviation

A unique historical flight took place recently at the Randolph Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas, bringing together airplanes with easily distinguishable red tails, a P-51 Mustang and a T-1, both part of red tail squadrons.

The P-51 is part of the Commemorative Air Force's Red Tail Squadron, which educates the public about the history of the Tuskegee Airmen, America's first all-black fighter squadron also known as the 99th Fighter Squadron. The CAF Red Tail Squadron brings its Rise Above exhibit, which includes a mobile movie theatre and the red tail Mustang, to schools and events around the country. This year, the organization hosted 40 events and it has booked a similar schedule for 2016, said Mustang pilot Doug Rozendaal.

Today, the Randolph Air Force Base continues the red tail heritage with the 99th Flying Training Squadron, which is part of the 12th Flying Training Wing. The squadron trains in Raytheon T-1 Jayhawks, a version of the Beechjet, and pilots move on to flying military airlift and tanker airplanes. In addition to the red tail, the T-1 has the Tuskegee Airmen logo on the nose.

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Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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