Fighter Pilot, 100th and 332nd Fighter Squadron
Artwork and Research By;
Sir Ernie Hamilton Boyette
There are 350 limited edition prints in this series. Print Size; 12x18"
Limited Edition Prints are signed and numbered by the Artist and by the Aviator. $75.00
This is the original painting.
This is another true story of a young American man who wanted to fly. Hiram wanted to fly so bad that he openly wrote a letter to the United States Army Air Corp for instructions as to how he could join the service and train as a pilot. Hiram had just finished one year of collage and was a newlywed. His new bride threatened to shoot off one of his toes if he joined the military, much less the Air Corp. Yet his persuasions must have worked. Hiram received back a rejection letter though it was brief it was factual in that the letter stated that there were no training facilities or openings for anyone who was not Caucasian.
This did not bother
Hiram. The war in
Hiram entered the
Army Air Corp training as a Pre-Aviation student in 1942. He became an Aviation
Cadet and finished all training as a single-engine combat pilot. The training
facilities were located in
There were four
groups for the
Unfortunately the new pilot flew the same position as Hiram would have flown if he had been on flight status that day. The slot was called "Purple Heart Charlie". This is also called "Tail end Charlie" which was the most unprotected position in the fighter formation. Sadly during the combat mission the pilot was shot down and killed in Hiramís Mustang.
Hiram was assigned
another Mustang in which his flight crew painted the name, "Boss Lady"
on the cowling for him. Hiram flew "Boss Lady" on 48 missions. The way
that each fighter squadron could identify each other in the air was that
each squadron had the trim tab on the rudder painted different colors. Hiram's
Mustang had a "black" trim tab representing the 100th. When
Hiram first arrived in
Hiram told me that during his first air-to-ground attack he was strafing enemy positions on the ground. Hiram could see the tracers from his guns reaching out to the enemy below. He then noticed that fireballs were also coming up towards him flying past his fighter on both sides. "They were firing at me"! Hiram said that no matter how well they train you for your job, the fact that the enemy would try to kill you never became real until he saw the stream to fire directed at him. "Nothing can prepare you for that" he said.
Almost all of the sorties that Hiram flew were escort missions for American bombers. The mission for the fighter was to protect the bombers at all cost. Hiram told me that when the German fighters attacked, they seamed not to worry about the Mustangs, but went straight at the bombers firing on them. Hiram chased off many a Focke Wulf and Messerschmitt. Hiram was told not to chase after the fighters, but to interrupt their attacks fending them away from the group even if it was just for a few minutes. Inside each bomber were ten men who could all die if they were left alone to defend for them self's.
Hiram told me that at a speaking engagement several years ago he was attending a very tall man came up and hugged Hiram and wept on his shoulder telling Hiram that Red Tail Mustang's saved his life coming to the aid of his bomber that was under attack. The gentleman had been a waist gunner in a B-24.
Hiram hugged the man saying that he could not remember if it was in fact him that day that came to the rescue of his B-24. Yet Hiram did in fact preformed the same type deed many times.
Hiram Mann and Sir Hamilton at the Fantasy of Flight Museum.
The original painting of "Boss Lady" is in the back ground.
If you liked the movie "Red Tails" then you will love these savings!
Tuskegee Airmen Print Special
Please visit the other Tuskegee Airmen pages I have worked with or researched.
Links to theirs pages are below, Thank you.
Benjamin O. Davis and history of the Air Group
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All research, writings and artwork are by Sir Ernie Hamilton Boyette.
No one is permitted to republish any part of this story with out my personal permission.
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Sir Ernie Hamilton Boyette
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