Friday, February 05, 2010

Fullbore Friday

Some say he was an ace, some say he only shot down 4 - and by the fact that he isn't listed on the American Fighter Aces' list - I think 4 is the right answer.

I won't exaggerate things and call him an ace - but when you add 1 ME-109 and 3 FW-190 along with what he had to do to get there - I think we can allow for a bit of artistic license on some people's part; though really, his record stands by itself unembellished.

In the service of his nation during WWII and his success afterwards, he represents the best of his generation and his nation.

As for me - four kills and the path he took to get there is more than enough for Fullbore Friday.

Last week a great patriot and accomplished American passed.
Born in Yonkers and reared in Harlem, Archer quit NYU in 1941 to enlist in the Army Air Corps. But the official War Department view was that blacks lacked the intelligence, character and leadership to fly in combat.

Undeterred, Archer joined the Tuskegee Airmen, a segregated Air Corps unit that escorted bombers in raids over Africa, the Mediterranean and Europe. Of 112 enemy planes downed by the airmen, five kills were credited to Archer - making him the nation's first black ace pilot.

He retired from the military in 1970, having flown 169 combat missions - three times the typical number for white pilots - and attained the rank of lieutenant colonel. Then Archer took his leadership skills and talent for breaking barriers into the business world.

He became one of the few black vice presidents of a major American corporation, at General Foods; oversaw, among other enterprises, Essence Communications and Black Enterprise magazine, and helped create what was then the nation's largest black-owned and -managed company, TLC Beatrice. And then, after retiring in 1987, he founded his own venture capital firm.

Last year, Archer joined fellow Tuskegee Airmen as guests at the inauguration of President Obama. It was a fitting honor for this pioneer, who died Wednesday at age 90.
Well done, and thank you.


MR T's Haircut said...

God Speed Colonel.  The world is a little emptier this week.

surfcaster said...

Thank you Colonel

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

If that's his plane, that makes it even more impressive, the 4 gunned P-51B was not the same plane as the much cleaner P-51D. Thank You Colonel, and Well Done Sir!

Wharf Rat said...

You have my respect sir.

We have a red-tail P-51D that is being restored by the Commerative Air Force, at the South St. Paul Airport here in Minnesota in honor of men like this gentleman.  If you ever fly into Mpls from the east over Wisconsin, this airport is almost under one of the approaches of the two parrallel runways.

The sad fact is that this aircraft was restored and flown in a small airshow by a Navy (retired) pilot.  The aircraft crashed on one end and the pilot was killed.  This happened I think in 2006.  Another sad fact is that this retired Navy pilot, w/in two years after that, had a son flying an F-18 off the coast of Southern CA and lost his life in a crash.  Too much for one family to have to bear.

Finally, there is another son who is also a Navy pilot, or was training at the time.  Now that's a family.

So to honor the Veterans of WWII, to honor this family, this red-tailed aircraft is being restored to flying condition.  Slowly, but surely.  I'm sure they could use some funds too.

ewok40k said...

He flies with angels now...
Might anyone tell Goering in hell his superman aryan pilots were going shot down by black people?