Tuskegee Airmen Top Gun Robert W. Williams
31 March 1945: The 332d Fighter Group conducted a fighter sweep and strafing mission against railroad and other targets in the Munich area of southern Germany. (332d Fighter Group mission report number 252) During the mission, twelve members of the group shot down a total of 13 enemy airplanes, including FW-190s and Me- 109s. The victors included 1 st Lt Robert W. Williams, who shot down 2 FW-190s, and Maj William A. Campbell, 1 st Lts Roscoe C. Brown, Earl R. Lane, and Daniel L. Rich, 2d Lts Raul W. Bell, Thomas P. Brasswell, John W. Davis, James L. Hall, Hugh J. White, and Bertram W. Wilson, Jr, and Flight Officer John H. Lyle, who each shot down one enemy aircraft. (Fifteenth Air Force General Orders 2292 and 2293 from 1945) Three 332d Fighter Group P-51D pilots were reported missing that day, including 2d Lt. Arnett W. Starks, Jr and 1 st Lt. Clarence N. Driver of the 100 th Fighter Squadron, and 2d Lt. Frank N. Wright of the 99 th Fighter Squadron. Driver went missing at 1315 hours over northern Italy probably because of low fuel. Wright went into a spin while in pursuit of the enemy at 1420 hours over Landshut, Germany. Starks was hit by enemy antiaircraft artillery at 1430 hours over Voklammerkt, Germany. (332d Fighter Group mission report number 252 and Missing Air Crew Report numbers 13211, 13212, and 13216). 1 st Lts. Robert W. Willliams and Bertram W. Wilson Jr., both of the 100 th Fighter Squadron, each earned a Distinguished Flying Cross for heroic actions on this day. (Fifteenth Air Force General Order 3484 dated 29 May 1945).
In 1952, Bob wrote down his experiences as a fighter pilot and for 43 years attempted to find a Hollywood venue for it. Finally his story was picked up by HBO and in 1995 the movie "Tuskegee Airmen" aired. Los Angeles Times television critic Howard Rosenberg called "Tuskegee Airmen" "the latest in a string of historical pearls." It starred Laurence Fishburne, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Andre Braugher. Fishburne played Hannibal Lee, a character loosely based on Williams.
Robert Williams was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters, and the Presidential Distinguished Unit Citation. Williams died in September, 1997
Open Edition Canvas Giclée Print. Image size: 18"x10"
This painting is one part of a quadriptych featuring one plane of each of the four squadrons which made up the all black 332nd Fighter Group- the famed Tuskegee Airmen.“Duchess Arlene" was a P-51D assigned to Lt. Robert W. Williams of the 100th FS, 332nd FG in 1945. Williams shot down one of the Luftwaffe's Me 262 jet fighters on 24 March 1944 and on 31 March 1944 shot down a pair of Fw 190s.