ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Earl Lane 69 years old , born on July 22, 1920 and passed away on June 27, 1990. We will remember him forever.
Posted by Donna Johnson-Thomas on May 16, 2020
Today is Saturday, May 16, 2020. I reactivated Uncle Earl's memorial page. There have been so many deaths among the remaining Tuskegee Airmen since I last activated this memorial, if anyone has any information, please don't hesitate to leave messages.
Posted by Donna Johnson-Thomas on November 12, 2013
Remembering you today on Veterans Day, and the service you and the other members of the "Red Tails" who gave so much to the service of our Country.
Posted by Donna Johnson-Thomas on July 22, 2013
Today would have been your 93rd birthday. Today, Leslie would have been calling you and probably surprising you with a visit there in Cleveland. Remembering and never forgetting you, love from all your family.
Posted by Donna Johnson-Thomas on June 27, 2013
Today is the 23rd anniversary of your passing. Remembering you, and honoring the service you made to our Country. "Eternal rest grant him Oh Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him."
Posted by Robert F Dorr on February 2, 2013
I want to honor Earl Lane in a book I'm writing now and would like to hear from anyone who'd like to help.

Bob Dorr (robert.f.dorr@cox.net, (703) 264-8950)
Posted by Donna Johnson-Thomas on November 19, 2012
Today would have been Aunt Dorothy's birthday, also I would be celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary. I'm thinking of her today and my late husband. Remembering you and Leslie also.
Posted by Donna Johnson-Thomas on November 11, 2012
Today we honor all you veterans. I added several new pictures to your memorial page, wish you were here so you could tell me about them. Wish Leslie were here also.
Posted by Donna Johnson-Thomas on November 9, 2012
Today I added the names of four Airmen who have recently passed. Lt. Col. Luke J. Weathers, age 90, October 15, 1912; George Hickman; Lt. Col. Herbert Carter, age 95; and Brew Hickman, age 97. Mr. Hickman received the Congressional Gold Medal several years after the other airmen ~ his wife was instrumental in him finally getting his medal.
Posted by Xzenia Richardson on July 22, 2012
Although I never met you, I heard so many great things about you. Thank you for all that you did for our country. I know that you are truly missed.
Posted by Donna Johnson-Thomas on June 27, 2012
Today is the 22nd anniversary of your passing. I remember it like it was yesterday, because I had spoken to Leslie on the 25th to tell her that my husband had passed and she said she would be at the funeral. However, two days later, June 27th, she called me back to say that you had just passed. Rest in peace Uncle Earl. You will be forever in my heart.
Posted by Donna Johnson-Thomas on May 25, 2012
Remembering you on Memorial Day, and everyday and to say thank-you Uncle Earl for your service to our Country, and to OUR people. Thank-you also to all the Tuskegee Airmen.
Posted by Robert Booth on February 14, 2012
Wish I could have spent more time with you. As a retired army officer
we share much in common. I think of leslie often and when I do , you are always on my mind. Thanks so much for your service to our country.

Lt.Col.Robert J. Booth (USA Retired)
Posted by Donna Johnson-Thomas on January 28, 2012
The saying, "youth is wasted on the young," is so true. I'm sorry I missed all the opportunities we could have had talking about your experiences during the war. Young people just take it for granted that our loved ones will be with us forever. All I can say is that you exemplified the term "an officer and a gentleman," as well as wonderful father to Leslie, and uncle to me. Miss U!!

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Donna Johnson-Thomas on May 16, 2020
Today is Saturday, May 16, 2020. I reactivated Uncle Earl's memorial page. There have been so many deaths among the remaining Tuskegee Airmen since I last activated this memorial, if anyone has any information, please don't hesitate to leave messages.
Posted by Donna Johnson-Thomas on November 12, 2013
Remembering you today on Veterans Day, and the service you and the other members of the "Red Tails" who gave so much to the service of our Country.
Posted by Donna Johnson-Thomas on July 22, 2013
Today would have been your 93rd birthday. Today, Leslie would have been calling you and probably surprising you with a visit there in Cleveland. Remembering and never forgetting you, love from all your family.
his Life

The Tuskegee Airmen on BlackPast.org

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African American military aviators in the United States armed forces.  During their years of operation, 1940 to 1946, 996 pilots were trained at Tuskegee Army Air Field.  Approximately 445 were deployed overseas and 150 lost their lives during that period.  Sixty-six pilots were killed in action or accidents and 32 were captured and held as prisoners of war.

The Tuskegee Airmen served primarily in three units.  The first unit, the 99th Pursuit Squadron, was activated at Chanute Field in Rantoul, Illinois on March 19, 1941, nine months before the United States officially entered World War II.  They transferred to Tuskegee, Alabama in June, 1941 where they received pilot training.  At that time the unit had 47 white officers and 429 enlisted men. By mid-1942 nearly 3,000 white and black personnel were stationed at Tuskegee Army Air Field.  The African American personnel were placed under the command of Captain Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. one of only two black line officers then serving in the U.S. Army.  Davis reported to Major James Ellison, the commander of the 99th Fighter Squadron.

In April 1943, the 99th was deemed ready for combat and was transferred to North Africa where it was assigned to the 33rd Fighter Group.  There it first saw action and on May 30, 1943 the squadron attacked the small island of Pantelleria in the Mediterranean Sea to clear sea lanes for the Allied invasion of Sicily scheduled for July. The air strikes led the Italian population on the island to surrender to Allied forces on June 11.   The 99th moved on to Sicily where it continued to fly combat missions.

A third group of Tuskegee Airmen were trained in the U.S. to operate B-25 bombers.  Although they were organized as the 477th Bombardment Group in 1943, they did not complete their training in time to see overseas combat.

The Tuskegee Airmen flew 15,533 combat sorties on 1,578 missions during World War II. Fifty-five airmen were credited with destroying 112 German aircraft in the air.  Three Airmen, First Lieutenant Roscoe Brown, First Lieutenant Earl R. Lane, and Second Lieutenant Charles V. Brantley shot down three Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighers over Berlin on March 24, 1945.  Three airmen, Captain Edward Toppins, Captain Joseph Elsberry, and First Lieutenant Lee Archer, shot down four planes during their service in Europe but no Tuskegee Airman got the coveted fifth “kill” which would have placed them in the rare “ace” category.  They and other airmen destroyed another 150 planes on the ground as well as approximately 950 railcars, trucks, and other motor vehicles.

The Airmen received three Distinguished Unit Citations. The 99th Pursuit Squadron’s first citation was awarded for its bombing and strafing of the enemy controlled airfield at Pantelleria, Italy between May 30 and June 11, 1943. The second citation was awarded to the 99th Fighter Squadron (the unit had been renamed) for successful air strikes against Monte Cassino, Italy. The 332 Fighter Group received a citation for participating in the longest bomber escort mission in World War II when American planes attacked Berlin, Germany from bases in Italy on March 24, 1945. Six weeks later on April 30, Nazi Germany surrendered ending the war in Europe.

The Tuskegee Airmen were often the subjects of incorrect claims that exaggerated or intentionally minimized their role and record in World War II aerial combat.  Yet the accomplishments of these pilots are best summarized by Dr. Daniel L. Haulman, historian of the Air Force Historical Research Agency and author of the 2011 article, “Nine Myths About the Tuskegee Airmen.".  Haulman writes: “Whoever dispenses with the myths that have come to circulate around the Tuskegee Airmen in the many decades since World War II emerges with a greater appreciation for what they actually accomplished.  If they did not demonstrate that they were far superior to the members of the six non-black fighter escort groups of the Fifteenth Air Force with which they served, they certainly demonstrated that they were not inferior to them either.  Moreover, they began at a line farther back, overcoming many more obstacles on the way to combat.”


Recent stories

The Tuskegee airmen once shot down three German jets in a single day.

Shared by Donna Johnson-Thomas on May 25, 2020
On March 24, 1944, a fleet of P-51 Mustangs led by Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, commander of the Tuskegee airmen, set out on the longest escort mission their crews would fly during World War II. The 43 fighters were there to help B-17 bombers run a gauntlet of over 1,600 miles into the heart of Hitler’s Germany and back. The bombers’ target, a massive Daimler-Benz tank factory in Berlin, was heavily defended by whatever forces the Luftwaffe could muster at that point in the war. The 25 aircraft protecting the plant included the battle-tested Fw 190 radial propeller fighters, the Me 163 “Komet” rocket-powered plane and the much more formidable Me 262, history’s first jetfighter and the forerunner of today’s modern fighters. While the American P-51s typically lagged behind the Me 163s and 262s, they could outmaneuver them at low speeds. The German planes also tended to run out of fuel more quickly than the Tuskegee airmen’s Mustangs. Making the most of their limited advantages, pilots Charles Brantley, Earl Lane and Roscoe Brown all shot down German jets over Berlin that day, earning the all-black 332nd Fighter Group a Distinguished Unit Citation.

Tuskegee Thunder

Shared by Donna Johnson-Thomas on November 12, 2013

This is a picture that was drawn by the famous war artist Robert Bailey. 

March 24, 1945. 1st Lt. Earl R. Lane of the 100th Figher Group destroys a Messerschmitt-262 jet high over Germany. Also shown: the Luftwaffe were using a captured P-51 (all black) Mustang during this action.

Unofficial Words to TAPS

Shared by Donna Johnson-Thomas on May 27, 2012

Day is done, gone the sun, from the hills, from the lakes, from the skies.  All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.  

Go to sleep, peaceful sleep, may the soldier or sailor, God keep.  On the land or the deep, safe in sleep. 

Love, good night, must thou go, when the day, and the night, need thee so?  All is well.  Speedeth all, to their rest.

Fades the light; and afar, goeth day, and the stars, shineth bright, fare thee well; Day has gone, night is on.  Thanks and praise, for our days, 'Neath the sun, Neath the stars, 'Neath the sky, as we go, this we know, God is nigh.