By Charles W. Dryden
A-Train is the tale of 1 of the black americans who, in the course of global struggle II, graduated from Tuskegee (AL) Flying tuition and served as a pilot within the military Air Corps’ 99th Pursuit Squadron. Charles W. Dryden provides a fast moving, balanced, and private account of what it used to be prefer to organize for a occupation typically closed to African american citizens, how he coped with the frustrations and risks of wrestle, and the way he, in addition to many fellow black pilots, navigators, bombardiers, and crewmen, emerged with an impressive struggle list. below the command of Colonel Benjamin O. Davis Jr., the Tuskegee airmen fought over North Africa, Sicily, and Europe, escorting American bomber crews who revered their "no-losses" checklist. a few have been shot down, a lot of them have been killed or captured by means of the enemy, and a number of other gained medals of valor and honor. however the airmen nonetheless confronted nice limitations of racial prejudice within the defense force and at domestic. As a member of that elite workforce of younger pilots who fought for his or her kingdom out of the country whereas being denied civil liberties at domestic, Dryden offers an eloquent tale that would contact each reader.
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Additional info for A-train: memoirs of a Tuskegee Airman
Precision flying techniques were learned in performing 360-degree and 720-degree overhead landing approaches to power-off "spot" landings. Toward the end of the forty-hour flying program I had to plan and fly a solo cross-country navigation flight with landings at two strange fields and final landing at Roosevelt Field. The final "pièce de résistance" was a dual night flight with Bill Pyhota in the Matthews and Rappaport Stinson Reliant, a deluxe, closed-cabin, high-wing monoplane. With Bill at the controls we took off from Roosevelt Field at dusk on a cold, clear, moonless night in February 1941.
Unfortunately, my family could not afford the tuition at NYU. My next option was tuition-free CCNY, where I enrolled in the School of Mechanical Engineering (CCNY did not offer the aeronautical engineering degree). A blessing, because just getting into CCNY was just that. The entrance requirement at that highly rated college was an 82 percent average on high school regents exams. I made it by the skin of my teeth. A near-disaster, because my academic record at CCNY was just that. As one professor said to me as he saw me agonizing over a problem on one of his Physics 6 tests: "Mr.
Tall and broad shouldered, he filled the front seat in the small cabin of the Piper Cub. Because of his size I had trouble seeing the ground straight ahead on landing approaches from my very first airplane ride in June 1940. In fact, I Page 16 had to develop a technique of judging height above the ground, during landing approaches, by focusing my peripheral vision on the ground as seen through the left and right side windows of the cabin. Although our training planes were based at Roosevelt Field, which had paved runways and taxiways, hangars, a control tower, fences, and objects that help in judging height above the ground, we flew during the day from a grassy field that had been a potato patch.
A-train: memoirs of a Tuskegee Airman by Charles W. Dryden