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W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library Manuscript Collections

Guide to the Tuskegee Airmen 99th Fighter Squadron Uniform Patch MSS.3204


University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35487-0266

December 2010


This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2010-12-16T15:54-0600

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Description Rules:

Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Collection Title:

Tuskegee Airmen 99th Fighter Squadron Uniform Patch

Unit ID:



University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama


0.05 Linear feet


circa 1943


World War II uniform patch of the Tuskegee Airmen 99th Fighter Squadron

Access Restrictions:


Acquisition Information:

gift of Wade Hall, 2008

Preferred Citation:

Tuskegee Airmen 99th Fighter Squadron Uniform Patch, W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library, University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Processing Information:

Processed by

Martha Bace, 2010

Scope and Contents note

The collection contains a World War II Uniform patch for the 99th Fighter Squadron of the Tuskegee Airmen. The patch is approximately 4" in diameter and features what appears to be a winged panther in dark orange on a dark blue background with four stars above the panther and five stars below. The whole is encircled in the same dark orange of the panther with nine evenly spaced blue marks. The patch has been pasted onto a heavy paper or cardboard backing which includes a note saying "99th Fighter Squadron Flown by Black Pilots WWII".

The collection also includes copies of the history of the 99th Fighter Squadron taken from the Tuskegee Airmen website ( which also lists the officers of the 99th Fighter Squadron.

Biographical/Historical note

The United States Army Air Force 99th Fighter Squadron was constituted as the 99th Pursuit Squadron on 10 March 1941 and activated on 22 March 1941. It was redesignated the 99th Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942.

From the beginning, during training, the 99th Fighter Squadron was commanded by "white" officers, many of whom stayed just long enough to be "promotable" before transferring out at their new rank. It wasn't until 1 July 1945, when Colonel Robert Selway was relieved of the 477th Group's command (the 99th Fighter Squadron was assigned to the 477th Composite Group on 2 June 1945) and replaced by Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., that a clean sweep of Selway's "white" staff took place. At that time, all vacated jobs were filled by African-American officers for the first time.

In all, 996 pilots were trained in Tuskegee from 1941 to 1946, approximately 445 were deployed overseas, and 150 Airmen lost their lives in accidents or combat, including 66 pilots killed and 32 prisoners of war. The Tuskegee Airmen were credited with: 15,533 combat sorties and 1578 missions; 112 German aircraft shot down with another 150 destroyed on the ground; 950 railcars, trucks and other motor vehicles destroyed; one destroyer sunk; and a nearly perfect record of not losing U.S. bombers being escorted by the squadron. The Unit received three Distinguished Unit Citations, at least one Silver Star, an estimated 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 14 Bronze Stars, 744 Air Medals and 8 Purple Hearts.


United States. Army Air Forces. Fighter Squadron, 99th. (Library_of_Congress_Name_Authority_File)

World War, 1939-1945 (lcsh)

Patch Box SC0041 Folder 3204.01