The last place Tuskegee Airman Bob Dale figured to be was shot down and on the ground battling for his survival. Yet here he is wondering where to turn when a nun and a Partisan lead him to temporary safety. But Nazi SS Troops are closing in on little Jewish children hiding there and Bob must figure a way to save not only himself but the children in his care!
Inspiring Tale of the Legend
In the midst of all the chaos of the Second World War, Tuskegee Airman Bob Dale must go on a hero’s journey after his plane is shot down, through Northern Italy and France, dodging Nazi patrols and finding a way to rescue the little children in his charge. A page-turner thriller, The Man from Tuskegee is fact-based historical fiction that will keep you enthralled.
If you, like me, are intensely interested in World War II history and in the courage displayed by the Allied soldiers and resistance fighters as they struggled against the evil rule of Hitler, this is the book for you.
I have always been moved by stories of the Tuskegee Airmen who fought not only against the Nazi menace but who also battled racism at home and abroad to serve America with distinction. My uncle Robert Deiz, who was my dad’s brother, flew more than 90 missions as a Tuskegee Airman in Italy. These included flights to protect the beachhead in the Allied landings at Anzio, along with bomber escort missions in which he successfully engaged with the Luftwaffe and shot down two of their planes in two successive days of air battles.
Uncle Bob also talked my dad into first earning his bars as a Second Lieutenant in the same way he had, at Officer’s Candidate School, and then serving as a Tuskegee Airman, where Dad served stateside during World War II.
They were two brothers from Portland, Oregon. Two Tuskegee Airmen.
Uncle Bob came home a decorated war hero and went on to a successful career in the newly-formed United States Air Force, where he became one of the first test pilots to fly jet aircraft. Bob also served as the model for a famous poster to sell war bonds during the war.
Of course, he was a role model for me as I grew up in Portland, Oregon, where he starred in both track and football and also played in the Portland Junior Symphony. As a proud African American, uncle Bob never let racial prejudice stop him from pursuing his goals. He even earned his private pilot’s license prior to the war.
The movie, The Black Panther, inspired many young black people with the depiction of a black superhero. But my historical fiction book, inspired by the real-life exploits of my uncle Bob and his fellow airmen and infantry soldiers, both Black and white, tells the story of a Black airman who was shot down over Italy, whose courage under fire saved many children entrusted to his care from the horrors of the Nazi death camps. It also shines a light on the racism prevalent at the time, and the bright seeds that emerged from World War II, seeds that promised a more equitable, just, and enlightened America.
While Robert Deiz was not Bob Dale completely, Bob Dale and this story would not exist without my Uncle Bob. This story is more than just a homage to him; it is a homage to the many people of color who fought and struggled in the war, only to be forgotten or marginalized.
So here’s to all the unsung heroes- to the Tuskegee Airmen and to all the people of color who contributed to America’s final victory over the Nazi menace.
Remarkably, this whole book began with a musical theme. My youngest son was doodling around on the piano, when his notes struck a chord with me and suggested a musical theme which I quickly developed. Then we wondered what kind of a story would fit this theme? And it was clear it was a war story. I plan to do an audiobook version as well and this original musical theme will be a part of that project.
Speaking of music, I have been an active singer and songwriter for decades. In the 1960s, my band, The Seven Souls opened for the Righteous Brothers and recorded for a Warner Brothers label while we lived a beach-lovers’ life on Malibu Beach.
Here is a link to some of my current songs: