The Personification of Red Tales: The Sam Garrison Story

Disney’s The Avengers has more truth in it than the George Lucas financed Red Tales Red Tails, the “true” story of the Tuskegee Airmen. Hollywood wisely passed on fitting the bill for Red Tails, and Lucas subsequently lost more than $60 million on his Black project. When it became clear the movie was a farce, the Washington Post quickly published an article blasting the film as a “disservice” to the Airmen’s memory.

The Tuskegee Airmen were a pet Disingenuous White Liberal (DWL) project in the 1940s, and they had nothing to do with the Victory in Europe. Absolutely, positively nothing.

However, a myth emerged of this daring Nubian Aeriel Squadron that brought Hitler’s Luftwaffe to its knees, leading to an almost God-like Aura around the exploits of the Tuskegee Airmen: that they “never lost a bomber.

This was, of course, proven an embarrassingly false claim in 2007, but the mental image of heroic, invincible Afro-Aviators was established. Now we must consider them “National Treasures,” whose aerial feats – simultaneously accomplished while being Black – automatically qualify them for legendary status in the eyes of modern academia and corporate America.

Because no one dared question the exploits of the elite Black fighter pilots that “made the world safe for democracy” and won World War II, the obvious lies of elderly Black males claiming to part of the vaunted Tuskegee Airmen went uncontested:

In November 2011, Samuel M. Garrison Jr. was honored posthumously with his name featured on the new Watkins-Logan-Garrison Texas State Veterans Home.


Garrison died May 26, 2011, at age 88 as a celebrated war hero, a famed Tuskegee P-38 fighter pilot who told mesmerizing stories of long-ago dog fights and downed enemy aircraft.


In the two years before his death, he signed autographs, attended receptions and accepted a mayor’s proclamation, all in his honor.


To many, his persona seemed bigger than life when he appeared at various social events sporting a bright red jacket dripping with medals that represent valor and selflessness in the line of duty.


But sometimes things aren’t always as they seem — Garrison was not a Tuskegee pilot, officer or war hero, according to a team of researchers, who spent years investigating his claims.


“We’ve not been able to find that he was part of the program at all,” said Marv Abrams, president of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., San Antonio chapter. “As it stands, we collectively have nothing to substantiate him.”




WAR STORIES
Amid local publicity surrounding his reputation as a hero aviator, curiosity grew about whether Garrison, whose name seems to escape official military databases, was all that he portrayed.


He wore colonel’s wings when he claimed to be a captain and told stories about being a pilot and single-handedly taking 10 enemy planes out of commission — an unheard of tally among those who served in the Tuskegee organization.


Military records detailing service member rankings, completed missions and medal recipients have no mention of his name.


Equally puzzling to some is the fact the Tuskegee organization, the group he claimed as his own, has no records of him. And no one remembers him.


In the months following his death, the Tyler Morning Telegraph — in response to public inquiries — launched an exhaustive review of military and public records in an attempt to verify his claims of service.


The newspaper spoke with people who knew him, including the wife he married late in life, as well as Tuskegee researchers who specialize in uncovering details about those who served the nation.


“I always had questions about him,” his widow Willie Garrison said. “There are a lot of things I didn’t know.”


By all local accounts, Garrison was a charming Southern gentleman, but history reveals his role in the war appears altogether different than his public persona.


There are no documented records listing him as a pilot or a captain, the newspaper found.


And military records do not indicate that Garrison was officially awarded any of the elite medals he claimed: a Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, two Bronze Stars or a Philippine Liberation Medal.


Photographs of Garrison at local social events show him wearing a variety of medals: Legion of Merit, Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation, Air Force Commendation Medal, European African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and a Civilian Service in Vietnam Medal.


Military records indicate Garrison joined the Air Corps in 1942 in Los Angeles.


He said he received training at Tuskegee Army Air Corps in Tuskegee, Ala., serving the Air Force Unit 99th Pursuit Squadron and Air Force 332nd Fighter Group.


Garrison, a native of Baton Rouge, La., moved to Tyler about 1994, telling others he had experience in civil engineering. He was active in local politics, helping formulate a plan to build a new jail, but he made no public claims of having a storied past as an airman.


Mrs. Garrison, more than 25 years his junior, said she didn’t know a lot about her husband when they married in 2003 — they met in the soup aisle at Super 1 Foods and married less than a year later.


She said her husband never mentioned his military past until Barack Obama was elected president, and Garrison expressed a desire to attend the 2009 inauguration, alongside his peers, the Tuskegee Airmen.


“I didn’t know anything about it,” she said. “I asked his daughter about (being an airman), and she said, ‘Yes, he was.'”


A month later, the North Tenneha Church of Christ held a recognition event in his honor for Black Heritage Month, an event that prompted proclamations from Tyler and Smith County officials, marking Feb. 25, 2009, as “Capt. Sam Garrison Day.”


Numerous local events and recognitions would follow, as would inquiries about his credentials, according to his wife.


“I would ask him when it (questions) came up,” she said. “He got real upset … I just let him talk. There were a lot of things I didn’t understand.”

Talk about the Wrong Stuff. The lies of the Tuskegee Airmen touted by acceptable historians have largely been discredited. That – out of deference to these “warriors” – Sam Garrison wasn’t laughed at for his claims of heroism shows the power of Black-Run America (BRA).

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