A crew of black pilots in the Tuskegee training program, having faced segregation while kept mostly on the ground during World War II, are called into duty.
1944. World War II rages and the fate of the free world hangs in the balance.
Meanwhile the black pilots of the experimental Tuskegee training program are courageously waging two wars at once; one against enemies overseas, and the other against discrimination within the military and back home. Racial prejudices have long held ace airman Martin “Easy” Julian (Nate Parker) and his black pilots back at base – leaving them with little to do but further hone their flying skills – while their white counterparts are shipped out to combat after a mere three months of training.
Mistakenly deemed inferior and assigned only second-rate planes and missions, the pilots of Tuskegee have mastered the skies with ease but have not been granted the opportunity to truly spread their wings.
As the war in Europe continues to take its dire toll on Allied forces, Pentagon brass has no recourse but to reconsider these under-utilized pilots for combat duty. Just as the young Tuskegee men are on the brink of being shut down and shipped back home, Col. A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard) awards them the ultimate chance to prove their mettle high above.
Undaunted by the prospect of providing safe escort to bombers in broad daylight – a mission so dangerous that the RAF has refused it and the white fighter groups have sustained substantial losses – Easy’s pilots at last join the fiery aerial fray. Against all the odds, with something to prove and everything to lose, these intrepid young airmen take to the skies in a heroic endeavor to combat the enemy; and the discrimination that has kept them down for so long.
Cuba Gooding won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1997 for his role in Jerry Maguire. Terrence Howard was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar in 2007 for his role in Hustle & Flow.