When it was announced that the Call of Duty (COD) franchise was going back to its World War 2 roots, I was relieved and shocked. As many people know, the Call of Duty Modern War / Black Ops / Futuristic robotic siege had become quite a nuisance, falling far from what made the game special in the first place. While I won’t go into the details, I will state that COD was in a much need of a revamping / come to Jesus moment. At the same time, finding out that the franchise was going back to World War 2 was a bit disconcerting. After all how many World War 2 video games do we really need at this point?
I mean seriously, how many times are companies going to sell us the chance to shoot Nazis? I get that, in terms of big modern wars, World War 2 is the only one with an easily identifiable “villain”, but there is a limit, or at least there should be right?
Regardless, with the understanding that COD was releasing a new game covering World War 2, I couldn’t help but consider the possibilities. What would make this game unique? What would make this WW2 game memorable and separate it from the pack?
The Tuskegee Airmen!
The Tuskegee Airmen have achieved a legendary status in the African American community. When it comes to Civil Rights everyone knows the names of Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X, but in terms of military achievements, the Tuskegee Airmen are the lords of legend. For a quick Wiki history see below:
The 99th Pursuit Squadron (later, 99th Fighter Squadron) was the first black flying squadron, and the first to deploy overseas (to North Africa in April 1943, and later to Sicily and Italy). The 332nd Fighter Group, which originally included the 100th, 301st, and 302nd Fighter Squadrons, was the first black flying group. The group deployed to Italy in early 1944. In June 1944, the 332nd Fighter Group began flying heavy bomber escort missions, and in July 1944, the 99th Fighter Squadron was assigned to the 332nd Fighter Group, which then had four fighter squadrons.
Nicknamed the “Red Tails”, the Tuskegee Airmen were famous for breaking the color barrier and even proving to Eleanor Roosevelt that yes, black people can fly (planes).
Yet despite their popularity in the black community, they’ve never been included in a World War 2 game. In fact the only all-black corps I can think of being included was the 761st Tank Battalion, in Brothers in Arms. Why this has been the case over the past few years I have NO CLUE, but the Tuskegee Airmen are overdue for video game representation. I know I’d purchase a game with content covering them and I know a bunch of people who share that sentiment.
Hopefully the Tuskegee Airmen will get their just due soon enough. They deserve it and it makes financial sense.