There are only a handful of the famed Tuskegee Airmen from World War II who are still alive, a short list that includes Harold Brown, 96, of Catawba Island. To honor those noted pilots, the U.S. Mint has produced a 2021 America the Beautiful Quarter for the State of Alabama to commemorate the heroic actions and achievements by the pilots, who were nicknamed the “Red Tails” for the coloration of their P-51 Mustangs.
The Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Alabama says term “Tuskegee Airmen” pertains to both men and women of diverse nationalities. They were composed of nearly 1,000 pilots and more than 15,000 support staff (including navigators, bombardiers, and mechanics). The site preserves five historic structures used during primary flight training in World War II.
The reverse (tails) design depicts a Tuskegee Airman pilot suiting up to join the fight during World War II with the Moton Field control tower in the background. The pilot looks upward with pride and confidence as two P-51 Mustangs pass overhead.
The inscription “They Fought Two Wars” is arced across the top as a reference to the dual battles the Tuskegee Airmen fought – fascism abroad and racial discrimination at home.