Freedom Fighters: Sam Garrison - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Freedom Fighters: Sam Garrison

By Joan Hallmark

Sam Garrison was an engineering student in Los Angeles December 7th, 1941, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

Garrison had been working at a variety of jobs to pay his college tuition, but his favorite was as a chain boy at Lockeed Aircraft, where he got to taxi the airplanes into place.

But it wasn't long before Garrison was taking the p38 fighters into the air.

So when he signed up for the army air corps Tuskegee airmen program, he was already ahead of the game.

Through a mixup, Garrison was at first assigned to a Native American group at FT. Mcarthur, but finally arrived at Tuskeegee. At the age of eighteen, he was the youngest of that original select group.

Garrison was also the first to go to war in North Africa.

Flying p47 and p51 fighter planes as bomber escorts, garrison often went out as many as five or six times a day.

The Luftwafe nicknamed the Tuskegee airmen the "black birdmen", and recognized them as skilled combatants.

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