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Last Plane, Last Bullet, Last Man
Joe 'Lightning' Little: "From the last plane, to the last bullet, to the last minute, to the last man, we fight!"
Airmen: "We fight!"
"We fight!" became the rallying cry of the Red Tails, who overcame seemingly insurmountable odds and adversity to help the U.S. win World War II.
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Colonel A.J. Bullard: "We count our victories by the bombers we get to their targets, by the husbands we return to their wives, by the fathers we give back to their children. To the last minute, to the last man we fight. We fight!"
Colonel A.J. Bullard managed to motivate his men to fight despite everything. He never gave up, and neither did they. The Airmen flew the most successful fighter plane missions in World War II.
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Right to Fight
Colonel A.J. Bullard: "We have a right to fight for our country, the same as every other American. We will not go away."
Colonel Bullard is absolutely correct. Every man has a right to fight for his country, no matter what. Bullard's tenacity helped to get the Red Tails their important, critical mission: Protecting groups of U.S. bombers from German war planes during combat missions.
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Changing the Fight
General Luntz: "We need to change the way we fight. I need pilots who will put the bombers ahead of themeselves."
General Luntz (Gerald McRaney) realizes that something has got to give if his fighters are to win the war. The pilots who are willing to "put the bombers ahead of themselves" are the heroic, selfless Tuskegee Airmen.
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Protect the Heavies
Colonel A.J. Bullard: "At all costs, you protect the heavies."
The Tuskegee Airmen, the 332nd Fighter Group, were known as the "Red Tails" because they painted the tails of their planes with a distinct red mark. The group often acted as a "net," above the U.S. bomber groups, to buffer and protect them in combat from the German war planes.
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We've Done It All
Colonel A.J. Bullard: "When we came under your command, Colonel, you stated very clearly that we would never find negroes who could pass the pilot's exam, make it through flight school, survive basic combat. We've done all of that."
Maj. William Mortamus: "I don't believe your boys have scored a single aerial kill."
Colonel A.J. Bullard: "It's damn hard to shoot down the enemy 100 miles behind the front lines."
Members of the famed Tuskegee Airmen faced great adversity, subjected to hardships and mistreatment by the U.S. military, even though they were willing to die for their country. Here, Colonel A.J. Bullard argues his point: That the Red Tails would have much more success if they were actually allowed to fly major combat missions.
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Help Save Lives
General Luntz: "I can't afford the kind of losses my bombers have been suffering. Can you help save lives?"
Colonel A.J. Bullard: "If you get us new planes, we can help your boys."
Colonel A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard) sees his chance: His Red Tails can protect the U.S. bombers - but only if they've got good enough planes to do it.