The Tuskegee Airmen Memorial on the grounds of Colleton County‘s Lowcountry Regional Airport commemorates the heroism of the determined young men who enlisted in world War II to become America’s first black military airmen. Before being sent into action, the now famous Tuskegee Airmen received their final months of combat training here, at what was then the Walterboro Army Airfield.
The airmen trained each day from dawn to dusk for three months before their overseas deployment. They learned to fly three types of planes: The Air Cobra, the Thunderbolt, and the Kittyhawk. The nose-heavy Thunderbolt – nicknamed “The Jug” – was the most difficult. Five men died flying it during training exercises.
During the war, 1,000 Tuskegee Airmen flew 1,578 missions which involved over 15,000 attacks. Legend has it that the airmen, also known as the Red Tails, never lost an aircraft they escorted over enemy territory. While this is untrue, the Red Tails had one of the lowest loss records of all escort fighter groups. Although segregation was still widespread in America, many white bomber crews made special requests for the black pilots to be their escorts. In 1948 President Harry Truman signed Executive Order 9981, which called for the equal treatment and opportunity of people of all races in the United States Armed Forces. This action led to eventual desegregation in the military. Please read the Tuskegee Experience for more details.
More Pictures of the Tuskegee Airmen Memorial
Joseph McGill says
Is this monument still standing?
Shirl Moultrie Holmes says
This is my hometown. I’m proud of the role my town played in training these great souls. May we always recognize their contribution and sacrifices. Happy Black History.
Stephen Finsel says
I ran across this airfield one day while traveling up the coast from Florida headed to Charleston. I had lived in Charleston for years but no one had ever told me about this. What a piece of history, and a great tribute!
Ben Tobin says
Great information. Is there a building near by that has artifacts on display?
Hi there, my brother is in middle school and he is going a powerpoint on the Tuskegee airmen and would like to use the picture of the bust in his assignment. This is the only picture we found on a site not ending in .com which is required by his teacher. Could I use the picture Looking forward to your reply.
Hey Alicia, thanks for checking with us! We reached out to the photographer and will let you know as soon as we hear back from them, thanks for asking!
We ran across this gem as it was referred to below coming home from Florida. It was the perfect end to a great vacation and I am glad we stopped and took it in and thought about these brave guys who while being segregated in public and in the military still fought for the country and were successful in their missions over seas and in life. Needs to be bigger and more history though. Still worth a look.
Roland Little says
We ventured off to find this gem. It was very well laid out. I wish there was more. I found that it is not visited that much. I wish there was some type of festival or event to boost it.
Hank Acker says
My daughter, wife and I stopped at the Memorial Site. It was far from easy to find but it was worth all of the driving and questioning locals. It is subdued as a recognition of these men, their successes and thier tenacty to succeed. I am glad we went. Our photos are a great reminder.
George Gillis says
My wife and I finnally took time to detour off US 95 south to go visit the Tuskegee Memorial in Walterboro SC. It was very gratifing to stop to view this site and thanks these black heroes of WWII era.
Glenna Calvin says
To be forever honored: IN DEFENSE; an AMERICAN LEGACY/ the TUSKEGEE EXPERIENCE. Kindly visit and support my website as my intent is to establish a new location in Tuskegee, Alabama.
Lindap Bell says
I am so happy to know of the Tuskegee Airmen and was honored to have one gentleman from Virginia speak to students in my school in Marion County, SC in 1999. His name was Sonny Knox!
GySgt USMC says
An excellent opportunity to initiate a conversation about the Tuskegee Airmen with the kids!
Jim Benson says
Someone should enter the info on Google Maps. I went to Tuskegee Field where there is a US National Park now. Great place. Went to the Walterboro Airfield and the monument area but doesn’t show as a name on the Gooogle Maps. The Tuskegee Airmen were a great group of men and their contributions should be remembered and publicized. Jim, Retired USAF. Thank you for your rich history and your service.
Kay Fillman Alls says
Passed by this monument a few years ago and never realized its significance. Saw Redtails and I’m now totally fascinated at the history. Thank you SC for remembering these heroes and may God Bless their families. True Americans and so little known about their sacrifices.
Kevin James Witherspoon says
Janice-Hill Graves, was your father a flyer with the Tigers and did he get deployed over in China?
janice hill-graves says
My father, James Hill, was a soldier and stationed at Walterboro’s army air base. He met my mother in Walterboro and married her. I was born in Walterboro 4 days after VE day. My father belonged to the Flying Tigers.