Just this past week, I was watching the movie Red Tails, about the WWII Tuskegee Airmen, which connects to our family history through my wife's Great Uncle Capt. (later Major) Andrew D. Turner—Commander of the 100th Fighter Squadron, the Tuskegee Airmen.
Here’s the bloodline: My wife: Antoinette Kim (Myers) Allen, is the daughter of Matthew Myers and Jewell Clarice (Turner) Myers (RIP).
My wife's mother, Jewell, was the daughter of Clarence W. Turner II (RIP) and Martha (Slaughter) Turner (RIP). Capt Andrew D. Turner was Clarence's W. Turner II’s brother.
Her Great Uncle Andrew, Grandpa Clarence II and seven other siblings were the children of Rev. Clarence W. Turner I and Jennie Virginia (Jones) Turner.
My daughter, Candace Jewell Allen has Andrews' nose and my wife and youngest son James Oliver Allen III (and many of the Turners and Myers) have his eyes. You can see the family resemblance in our nephew, below -- Staff Sergeant Donnell Myers (USMC), deployed overseas at the time of writing. Stay Frosty, D! We love you!
Here's a brief summary of Great Uncle Andrew's story from the National Archive:
“Captain (later Major) Andrew D. "Jug" Turner (January 6, 1920-September 14, 1947) commander of the 100th Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group, 15th Air Force. Turner graduated from Tuskegee class 42-I-SE and was inducted on October 9, 1942. When the 100th's commanding officer, Lieutenant Robert B. Tresville, failed to return from a mission in June 1944, Turner took command.”
"On July 18, 1944, Turner was credited with a probable Me-109 which he was seen to damage heavily, but a crash was not witnessed. [The Messerschmitt Bf 109, often called Me 109, was a German World War II vintage Fighter plane, with a liquid cooled engines, vulnerable to hits to the cooling system]. Turner flew 69 missions with the 100th," continued the archive.
“Electing to stay in the Air Force, Turner was killed at Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio, when his Republic P-47N Thunderbolt collided with another pilot. Both Turner and the other pilot were killed. Corporal Hugh Beguesse (1917-? ) his plane's armament crew, was a Caribbean native who moved to Chicago, Illinois; he was not yet a citizen when he was drafted. "Skipper's Darlin' III" was sold for scrap on September 30, 1945,” the archive record continued.
Great uncle Andrew was a resident of the Deanwood area of Northeast Washington, DC, and attended Deanwood Elementary and Dunbar High Schools in Washington, DC. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Deanwood, of which, his father, Rev. Clarence Turner I was a founding member.
In addition, Clarence I’s grandson (Capt Andrew's nephew, our uncle "Butch"), Rev. Clarence W. Turner III, who was our pastor, married my wife and me, baptized our children, and licensed my wife and me in ministry, died suddenly on October 13, 2012 (RIP).
You can imagine when we and other family members watch the movie Red Tails. It's really special!
My wife and our babies' great uncle was the Commander of the 100th Fighter Squadron, a Red Tail!