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(313) 486-4193

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Contact us today!
(313) 486-4193


A PLANE? NO. A CAR...

DOTA SGT Preston JowersPFC Frederick Henry

AbouT Redtail

The centerpiece of Detroit RedTail, Inc is a multi-award winning 2011 "RedTail" Ford Mustang which is custom wrapped with a wrap designed by Founder and President of Detroit RedTail, Inc, Eric L. Palmer.

The vehicle pays tribute to the “Red Tail” P-51 Mustang fighter planes flown by the brave and valiant fighter pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group, which consisted of the 99th, 100th, 301st & 302nd Fighter Squadrons.

"RedTail", as the car is affectionately called, honors and recognizes two (2) living legends of the Detroit Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc; LtCol (Ret) Harry T. Stewart, Jr, whose Red Tail P-51 Mustang fighter plane is modeled on the driver’s side of the vehicle and LtCol (Ret) Alexander Jefferson, whose Red Tail P-51 Mustang fighter plane is modeled on the passenger side.

Purpose of the

Detroit RedTail

Ford Mustang

Detroit is known as the "Motor City" and the "Car Capital of the World." In and around the city and almost year round, there are numerous car shows, cruises and parades. These are venues that educational outreach of the military aviation history of the Tuskegee Airmen have not traditionally reached because they are not venues reachable by an actual airplane, which military aviation history typically centers around.

But now, Detroit RedTail has that reach and has started to use it. "RedTail's" main purpose is to participate in the American Car Culture and venture to those venues and events only reachable by motor vehicle and minister about the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen.

WHY a Ford Mustang

Oct 31, 2013 - FORD MEDIA CENTER - It’s a Plane! It’s a Horse! No, It’s the Ford Mustang and One of the World’s Favorite Cars.

An enduring question about Ford Mustang, even after nearly 50 years on the road, is the origin of its name. Does it honor the famed P-51 fighter plane of World War II? Or the wild horse of the American West? Depends who you ask. The real question for Mustang fans: Does it even matter? Is the world’s love affair with Mustang about the name? Or about a car that always has offered an appealing blend of style, performance and practicality? If you ask most people today what they think of when they hear Mustang, chances are they’ll mention the car before the horse or the plane. There long have been conflicting stories from the people who were there at the time, as well as many who weren’t, about how the name came about. As the car we know today as Mustang was developed in 1962 and 1963, a wide range of names were considered and used on the various design proposals, including Cougar, Torino, Allegro, Avventura and even Thunderbird II. If some of those names sound familiar, it’s because they were used on other cars in the years after Mustang debuted. Others receded into the annals of history. The decision to go with Mustang came in late 1963, although various design models and prototypes carried other names until early 1964 as part of the security effort around the project.

Why so much confusion over the source of the name? No conclusive documentation exists, and human memories are imperfect at best. Count the number of people who claim to have witnessed Jimi Hendrix playing the “Star Spangled Banner” at Woodstock in the summer of 1969, for example, and the population at Max Yasgur’s farm would have been many times the roughly 400,000 people in attendance. Different people also invariably have unique interpretations of the same events.

In his book “Mustang Genesis: The Creation of the Pony Car,”author Bob Fria quotes designer John Najjar: “R.H. Bob Maguire, my boss, and I were looking through a list of names for the car. I had been reading about the P-51 Mustang airplane and suggested the name Mustang in remembrance of the P-51, but Bob thought the name as associated with the airplane was too ‘airplaney’ and rejected that idea. I again suggested the same name Mustang, but this time with a horse association because it seemed more romantic. He agreed and we together selected that name right on the spot, and that’s how it got its name.”

Another interesting although less-plausible story surrounds the Southern Methodist University Mustangs football team. Following the team’s one and only game against the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in September, 1963, then-Ford Motor Company Vice President Lee Iacocca reportedly visited the SMU locker room. According to SMU lore, Iacocca told the losing team, “After watching the SMU Mustangs play with such flair, we reached a decision. We will call our new car the Mustang. Because it will be light, like your team. It will be quick, like your team. And it will be sporty, like your team.”

This all reportedly came a year after the Mustang name first appeared in public on a 1962 concept car and just a week before a second concept debuted with the first real preview of the coming production car. By this time, advertising agency J. Walter Thompson also had done market research on a variety of animal names, including Mustang and Cougar. Dean Weber, Ford Motor Company archives manager found several design studio photos of a design mockup bearing Mustang badges dated the day before the game. The designer of the conceptual drawing, of what became the production Mustang, Gale Halderman, explains in this video that the name of the concept car, Mustang 1, was directly taken from the P-51 Mustang airplane. View the Video

MuseumLorraineSmoothRidepiquetteJeff at HaldermanHarry at HaldermanHalderman DrawingSigned PhotoMustang 1MOM

Specifications of the Detroit "RedTail" Ford Mustang

Model Year: 2011 Body Style: Convertible Engine: 3.7L V6 Transmission: 6 Speed Manual

Click Here to Check Out the RedTail Picture Album

Description of the Detroit "RedTail" Ford Mustang

As mentioned above, the 2011 Detroit RedTail Ford Mustang is wrapped with a wrap, custom designed by Founder and President of Detroit RedTail, Inc, Eric L. Palmer. The vehicle pays tribute to the “Red Tail” P-51 Mustang fighter planes flown by the brave and valiant fighter pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group, which consisted of the 99th, 100th, 301st & 302nd Fighter Squadrons.

Detroit RedTail honors and pays tribute to two (2) living legends of the Detroit Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc; LtCol (Ret) Harry T. Stewart, Jr, whose Red Tail P-51 Mustang fighter plane is modeled on the driver’s side of the vehicle and LtCol (Ret) Alexander Jefferson, whose Red Tail P-51 Mustang fighter plane is modeled on the passenger side.

Harry’s plane number was 41. He called his plane Little Coquette after a song written by Guy Lombardo in 1925 and remade by The Ink Spots in 1939 and Louis Armstrong in 1942; two very popular African-American acts. Harry smiled when asked if he used to sing the song to some young lady at that time. The assumption is he did. One will also notice three (3) swastikas on Harry’s side. These are the markings fighter pilots earned when they shot down German planes during World War 2. Harry actually shot down three (3) on one day; 1 April 1945.

Alex’s plane number was 44. It was recently realized that his plane number is the number of the nation’s first African-American President, Barack Hussein Obama. Alex called his plane Margo after a girlfriend he had while training at Tuskegee. After being sent overseas, Alex lost contact with Margo. Alex’s plane Margo was shot out from under him on his 19th mission and he spent the balance of the war in a couple of Luft Waffe Stalag camps. After the last camp was liberated by Patton's 3rd Army and as they awaited transportation, Alex heard rumors of bodies being burned down the road. He and a couple others borrowed a jeep and set off to find what turned out to be Dachau, one of Germany's infamous Nazi concentration camps. 

Expansion of Detroit RedTail's outreach will find it blessed with a second (2) RedTail Ford Mustang modeled after the P-51's of two (2) more legends of the Detroit Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc; LtCol (Ret) Washington D. Ross, who passed in 2017 and Capt. Richard Macon, who passed in 2007. The second RedTail Mustang will provide the "wingman" coverage our current RedTail Mustang needs during parades. Expansion will also find Detroit RedTail blessed with a van dedicated to the 477th Bombardment Group. Another part of the "Tuskegee Airmen" legacy. The 477th van will serve as the actual mobile museum and typically be escorted by the two (2) RedTails.