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On this page I have posted some of your inspirational comments and stories that you have unselfishly and honestly shared with me after reading "A Tribute to my Father". I thoroughly enjoy receiving your email, and forward the messages to my Father who has a wonderful time reminiscing and learning about other peoples experiences. He has even become reacquainted with old friends through posted messages. Please keep the comments coming! I receive a lot of email, so the newest additions are posted on this page. Older messages are archived and make for exciting reading and research. Click on different sections to view subsequent Tuskegee Archives. If you do not want your message posted, please let me know in your email. Thanks!
- Dear Ms.Gomer, I was looking for information on Tuskegee Air men out of curiosity,and came across your web page.I wanted to tell you, what a beautiful tribute that you made to your father!I was deeply moved when reading about his story.He is truly a hero!! Thank you so much for sharing!!! Sincerely, Barbara S.
- Dear Mrs. Douglas, I am a freshman at Stevensville High School in Stevensville, Montana. I have always been interested in the Tuskegee Airmen. I saw a show on the History Chanel about the men and I really liked their story. It is not fair that they weren't treated the same. They were great pilots and that is all that should matter. Your story is really good. I read it 3 times already. I would like to do my first summary on your story. It is my favorite. I also liked the facts you put at the end. I didn't know that the 10th Calvary captured San Juan Hill first. All we read about is Teddy Roosevelt. I think the books should be changed. My mom told me my book is changed for the better from when she was a kid and we all think they should be fixed again. I might be white, but I don't understand why people have to be racist. It is not fair. Sometimes I get looked at strangely because I have some scars from a bad disease I got when I was in kindygarten. People can be mean when they don't want to understand. I wish they would just ask me about my eyes or my fingernails instead of making things up. I think that your dad must have met lots of people like that and worse. People should just come up to you and meet you before they judge you. This is kind of cool. I read an article in my dad's Scientific American magazine last year that was about human genes and DNA. Scientists have found out that the differences in skin color just do not matter in the scientific world. The marker that makes the different colors is so close to each other that it is an insignificant difference....in other words, skin color does not matter at all when we look at our differences. I wish more people would read that. Anyway, thank you for your great story. Thank you, Damian P.
- HI, I just read the wonderful story about your father. He is so amazing. I feel so proud and honored we could have men like him around. I started reading more about the Tuskagee Airmen as part of Black History month ( I am a white 38 yr old female). I wish I could one day meet one of those Airmen like your father, just to be able to thank them in person. To hear their stories and show how much respect I have for people like him. As a women I feel a connection with your father and those Tuckagee Airmen. I was the first female aircraft mechanic to an all male 350+ squadron in the Navy back in the early 80's( VP-23 based out of Brunswick Maine. I worked on P-3's ( sub busters). Yes, I guess you could say I paved the way for women in the Navy as your father did for Black men in the military. I know what he must have went through with so much resentment and discrimination that a woman dare to be a part of an all male squadron, and just trying to prove myself everyday as he did. Well, I was able to prove that a woman can do what a man does. Because eventually even more women were accepted into that squadron along with other squadrons. So Whenever I tell my story to family or friends or someone new on the street, I always refer to the Tuckagee Airmen . We need more people to know about these Fine Men because they were my inspiration and strength to never give up, no matter who disliked the idea of a female in a mans world. Please give your father my best, a hug, kiss and a Big thank you. Laura D.
- Dear Ms. Gomer, I feel compelled to write to you and express my gratitude to your father for his courage and steadfastness in the face of racism and adversity! I saw the movie "Tuskegee Airman" and was moved by the patriotism exhibited on the part of your father and the other airman cadets. Had I been at the bomber reunion, I too would have stood to honor him! Predjudice is not always based in color. I served in the Airforce during the Vietnam era. I can remember, quite vividly, the disdain exhibited toward me and my fellow airman when we were in uniform. That experience was nothing compared to your father's experience, however, rejection, no matter what the reason, is painful. Thank you for posting your web site. I salute your father and all the other dedicated African/AMERICAN servicemen. Terry (A caucasion/AMERICAN servicman)
- I saw a documentary on your fathers Air Force group on the Discovery Station. I was born in Germany and was in Frankfurt from 1940 to 1949. I want you to know that as a child I recall the kindness of the Black soldiers in Frankfurt . I moved to Louisiana , in 1949 and living in a small town, I learned about prejudice . As you might guess Germans were not very welcomed after the war. I as a child suffered many hurts for an entire nationality. I cried when I saw how the Air Group was received after returning to their homeland. They had served so valiantly. I have always taught my own children to not be bigots, and I am proud to say they are not. I recall a young black adolescent in my care as a nurse on a Psychiatric Unit. She yelled at me"you have never been discriminated against" I told her of my childhood as a girl of nine, and my pain . My best friend is a black nurse. I love her like a sister. She told me of her fear as a child, leaving during the middle of the night from her home in Mississippi, riding crouched down in the car until they were out of Miss. I will continue to do my part to tell the story of you fathers air group. I think what you did in memory of you father is wonderful. Good luck to you and yours. Sincerely, Maggie S.
- Ms. Gomer-Douglass, About a week ago, an African American male in his mid 30's came into my work. I'm in sales, so naturally I approached him and struck up a conversation. He was wearing a hat that to me anyway, made me assume he belonged to the Air Force, or at least once did. I asked the man, "Are you in the Air Force?". Very disapprovingly he shook his head and said "no." "Was that a bad question?" I asked. He said, "Yes." He then began educating me about the Tuskeggee Airman. I'm a 20 year-old Caucasian male, who's never heard anything ever of the Tuskegee Airman, not even in school. He spoke to me for roughly 45 minutes about the stories of segregation, all the opposition they faced, and emphasized to me the sadness of the fact that they've gone unnoticed. What blew me away is that they were expected to fail, and they ended up being the only squadron to have a perfect record as far as never losing a bomber during escort. This gentleman that I was speaking to turned out to be a Boeing Engineer and shared with me his fascination of airplanes inside and outside of the Tuskegee Airman. He really touched my heart and to stumble upon your website and read about your father really strengthens my feelings and opinions regarding segregation. I appreciate the time you've put into creating your website, and greatly appreciate what your father has done for this country, along with his fellow Tuskegee Airman. Sincerely, Kevin
- Your story was outstanding. I came across it on March 25, 2004, while helping my 9 year old son with a report on different monuments in Washington, DC One of his assignments was to draw a picture of a monument he would build and who he would honor it to and why. We looked and search and when I pull up your web sight he wanted to do one to the Tuskegee Airman. He said he would put P-40's and P-51 Mustangs in a gated field for all to call and see right in Washington, DC to represent each Black Airman that was in W.W.II. Reading this story to my son was a wonderful experience. Your story has even touched my small son. Me myself being 29 years old, I have a better understanding. I hear Tom Joiner talking about them all the time and now I see why. My GOD continue to BLESS YOU and YOURS, keep up the good work. On Fathers Day (6/18/2000), I took two of my children to my father's grave, at Springfield Baptist Church (founded in 1865) in his hometown of Crawfordville, Georgia. (Where Alexander H. Stephens State Park, which he was never able to visit during his life, is located.) I was trying to give my children a brief history of who he was from my own limited knowledge. I knew that he was the first Black Park Superintendent in Georgia and had built George Washington Carver State Park, opened in 1950, the first Negro state park in Georgia and the only state park ever named for an African - American (it is now operated by Bartow County as Bartow-Carver Park) he had leased the land from the Corps of Engineers and with the intent of running a private resort like American Beach in Florida, but could not get a license to operate it as such from Bartow County. Georgia, under Gov. Talmadge, made an offer to make the facility a State Park for Negroes, due to mounting protest from Black WWII veterans and civic groups, and he remained the park superintendent of that facility until he became ill in the fall season of 1958. The next superintendent was Clarence Benham, father of Justice Robert Benham, the first African American to win a state wide election in Georgia and sit on the Georgia Supreme Court. This is the park where Ray Charles and Little Richard visited and performed, Andrew Young and his family learned to water ski, and where Mrs. Coretta Scott-King and her family remember many weekend outings with Ebenezer Baptist Church. Shortly before WWII, my father had purchased property in the city of Atlanta, and built a house on it, only to be barred by the Atlanta Police, for two years, from moving into his house. He was told by the police that he had built his house on a 'white block' and could not move into it. This was when he was persuaded to join the military, where he served as an office clerk. When he left the military, he filed suit against the City of Atlanta after learning of the of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Hansberry vs Lee, but that lawsuit was settled out of court when Mayor William B. Hartsfield (sending a car to pick him up and bring him to city hall) told him in no uncertain terms that if he would drop his lawsuit, the race block system in Atlanta would be abolished. And at that meeting it was, opening the way for Mozley Park, Dixie Hills, Grove Park, Collier Heights and areas along Bankhead Highway to become black neighborhoods. This also paved the way for the Lincoln Golf Course and Country Club to open in 1947, attended by cousin and Boxing Champ, Joe Louis Barrow. I also remember during 1967, my family was engaged in making plaster ornaments, as Reliable Plastering Co., for a large project in Buckhead. Back in the 1920's, my father and his older brother George were plastering the walls, running cornice and installing ornaments in the Fox Theater during its construction, having mastered plastering from previous work in Florida, they were the only African - Americans working on the Fox Theater in that capacity. But, in 1967, the building was a huge house and many African - American plasterers working for Atkinson Brothers Plastering Company (our Uncle Charles' Business) were engaged on that project. Only later did I learn that it was the new Governors Mansion and we were all shocked that the first Governor to occupy the new mansion was. But what made me write this is, I had learned much about the Army Air Forces when, on April 29, 1997, I introduced Lt. Col. Charles "Chuck" Dryden, U.S.A.F. (Ret.) for his book "A -Train, Memoirs Of A Tuskegee Airman " at the Wesley Chapel / William C. Brown DeKalb County Library. So this time, when I went to my father's grave, I knew that he had served in the military, but now I saw and recognized all of the writing on his headstone - John Loyd Atkinson; Georgia; Pfc Army Air Forces; World War II; July 26,1901 - June 08, 1972. At the first opportunity, I asked my mother why no one told me that my Daddy was a Tuskegee Airman. Her reply, ever succinct, was "I thought you knew !" Charles A., Decatur, Georgia .
- Dear Ms. Gomer-Douglas, I'm a 54 year old white male living in California and I just finished watching a movie about the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II . I went to my computer after I watched this movie to learn more about these Great men who fought a war with out much thanks for what they did. I did not fight in that War but my dad did, and the one thing I did learn from him was to value a man for himself no matter his color and I feel I have used that in my field to help any man to further himself . I only hope in my life I have done something to make a difference in the next generation for the injustice those Great men went through. After what I have seen and learned today, I will add these Brave men to my list of HERO'S. Thank You, Jack D.
- Being a 52 year old human being who thought they new a fair deal about the 2nd World War, I have had a lesson in humility today after seeing a program primarily about the Mustang P51, but which brought in a complete revelation to me regarding the Tuskagee Airmen. I know your site was a tribute to your father, but all I can say is Thank You! Hearing about the prejudice the obstacles and the clear intent from the outset, with almost the view that (Blacks can't fly) I really don't think the world realised the part these proud, intelligent and brave people played, not just in the war effort, but in not accepting that race or anything else should be a criteria by which anyone is judged and nor should it for the future, as otherwise it would all have been in vain. I thought their story deserved a program in its own right, as their record was exemplary and although we often in the UK talk of the 'Battle of Britain' we don't often realise that this was really the Battle For Britain, not just by Britains! I come from a pretty deprived working area in the UK and I hope you don't mind my blunt expressions, but basically because I lived in this part of the neighbourhood, I was precluded from a good job just because of my post code (Zip code), and grew up knowing what prejudice was from an early age, and therefore never liked the thought of subjecting anyone else to it. No, I'm not Black, but at that time in the UK there were few Black people, so it was my 'type' that were the brunt for every prejudice going! I never let it deter me though, and neither did many in the World Wars, often people coming from deprived areas, where in normal live posh folk would cross the street to avoid them...but it never stopped these people fighting and dying for their country. What I hadn't realised though was the part the Tuskagee Airmen played, which must be an illustration of how even to this day ignorance and prejudice exists. I had great difficulty in finding an email site for a contact, as I don't know if the Red Tails are still in existence, and I would have personally liked to thank them. Anyway well done. J R S.
- I am a white male, 38 year old, and a veteran of the U.S. Army. I grew up in the country farm area of N.C. As a young boy I noticed how the black families were treated with less respect than my family was.To me it seemed it was a hush hush issue, and strict country upbringing taught me not to backtalk even when I felt something was not right. But , luckily I grew up and joined the army, my training co. skipped basic training and went straight to armor school and was the first unit in the us army to graduate training on the M1 tank. I am a man who loves my country and all who stand up for it, regardless of race or religion. I just watched the movie Tuskegee Airmen on HBO. The tears poured down my face as I watched it. God Bless every one of those men and all their families for their sacrifice. As soon as the movie was over and I wiped the tears from my face i came to the computer and found your website. I just would like to say what a wonderful man your father is and the country is a much better place because of his endurance against the racist America of that time. I ther are any websites you could e-mail me it would be greatly appreciated. God hold you and yours in his arms forever. Mr. Clifford C. B.