Tuskegee Airman and former 2nd Lt. William Wheeler points out a detail of an oil painting.
Tuskegee Airman and former 2nd Lt. William Wheeler (center) points out a detail of an oil painting depicting some of the history of the Tuskegee Airmen to retired Master Sgt. Ezra Hill (right) and former Staff Sgt. Phillip W. Broome (left) in the Pentagon on Nov. 10, 2005. Wheeler, Hill, Broome, and their fellow airmen are at the Pentagon to receive briefings on the state of the Air Force, an update on global operations and have lunch with Rumsfeld. During World War II, the Tuskegee Airmen were credited with destroying 261 aircraft, damaging 148 aircraft, flying 15,553 combat sorties and 1,578 missions over Italy and North Africa. They destroyed or damaged over 950 units of ground transportation and escorted more than 200 bombing missions. As an escort fighter wing during World War II, they never lost a bomber to enemy fighters.