Flight Mechanics Played Vital Role In Success Of Tuskegee Airmen Pilots

It's a known fact about the famed Tuskegee Airmen pilots. Without people like Le Roy Gillead, the airmen would have never made their way into the record books; more than 15,000 combat sorties and a near perfect record of not losing any U.S. bomber. Gillead was one of the original flight mechanics.

Gillead arrived at Tuskegee for the first time more than 60 years ago. He was just 23. He remembers the discipline, the meticulous work needed to keep war planes in top shape. But he enjoyed every minute of it considering where he had come from.

"You have to remember we were coming out of the Great Depression, and it gave me a chance to escape the burden of having to take care of my sisters and mother," said Gillead.

Because of flight mechanics like Gillead, those Tuskegee pilots earned hundreds of Air Medals, Purple Hearts and Bronze Stars.