Presented is a vintage WWII "Keep Us Flying/ Buy War Bonds" color lithographic poster, signed and inscribed by Lieutenant Colonel Julius Jackson. Lieutenant Colonel Jackson was a Tuskegee Airman. The Tuskegee Airmen, also known as the 332nd Fighter Group and 477th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps, were formed in 1941 and were the first fighter group of all African-American pilots to fly in the United States military.
The poster is inscribed "To Grissom A.M/ LT. COL. Julius Jackson TA 46-C" and dated “10-04-03” at top left in black marker. Lt. Col. Jackson signed the poster during a 2003 visit to Grissom Air Reserve Base, located in Indiana. During his visit, Lt. Col. Jackson conducted a mass enlistment ceremony for future Air Force Reserve Command members during the annual Festival of Flight at the Grissom Air Museum.
Lt. Col. Jackson served in Italy in 1942 and was known as one of the "Red Tails,” Tuskegee pilots who flew escort for U.S. bombers headed to Germany during the war. Before 1940, African-Americans were barred from flying for the U.S. military. Civil rights organizations and the black press exerted pressure that resulted in the formation of an all African-American pursuit squadron based in Tuskegee, Alabama, in 1941. They became known as the Tuskegee Airmen. During WWII, the pilots of the 332nd flew P-51 Mustangs to escort the heavy bombers of the 15th Air Force during raids deep into enemy territory. The tails of their planes were painted red for identification purposes, earning them the enduring nickname “Red Tails.” The Tuskegee Airmen flew more than 15,000 individual sorties in Europe and North Africa during World War II. Their impressive performance earned them more than 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses. The Tuskegee Airmen’s achievements, together with the men and women who supported them, paved the way for full integration of the U.S. military.
Very good condition. Signature, in black ink, is legible and strong. Poster color is vibrant and paper is healthy. Faint vertical crease from past folding. Poster is archivally framed in a custom-built black and gold wooden frame. Framed dimensions: 34" H x 25 1/2" W x 1 ½”D.