- Rated UNR
- Genre: Special Interest-Documentary
- Release Date: 1/14/2003
Nightfighters tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of elite black pilots who distinguished themselves during numerous World War II combat missions, despite the segregation and racism that existed in the U.S. military at the time. In 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt set up a flight training program for a small group of black pilots at an airbase in Tuskgee, Alabama. It was widely believed that the "Tuskegee Experiment," as it was called, would confirm a document released years earlier by the American War College, which concluded that African Americans were congenitally incapable of excelling as pilots and in positions of authority in the U.S. military. Under the watchful eye of Lt. Col. Benjamin Davis, West Point's second-ever black graduate, the 332nd Fighter Group never lost a plane during hundreds of missions over Italy and North Africa. Yet as pilots who shielded white-operated American planes from enemy fire, the Tuskegee Airmen and their all-black surgical and support crews were still segregated from their white countrymen and saw their accomplishments largely ignored by the military's establishment. Nightfighters introduces the viewer to many of these extraordinary men including Spann Watson, Woodrow Crockett, Alfred "Chief" Anderson, Louis Purnell, Harry Sheppard, and Dr. Roscoe Brown, among others.