They were young, gifted and black but the US Army refused them key positions. That is until intense pressure from activist groups pushed President Franklin D. Roosevelt to initiate an African-American fighter pilot training program in Tuskegee, Alabama.

Top secret and fiercely opposed by top military brass, the African-American pilots, dubbed the Red Tails, were forced to fly second-rate planes far from the action.

But in June 1944, they leapt to the front lines of World War II. Suddenly they were given Mustang P-51 fighter planes and charged to protect Allied bombers on a mission to destroy Nazi Germany. Now fighting two wars – one in the skies against the Nazis and the other against racism back at home in the US – the Red Tails were determined to prove to the world that they had the right stuff.

Ordered to adopt life-threatening tactics to knock out German radar stations and go head-to-head with the enemies’ technologically advanced fighter jets, the Red Tails never caved in. This programme documents how their success helped secure the Nazi’s defeat and changed the course of American history.

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Courtesy of Channel 5:

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