a black and white photo of Tuskegee class 44-B-SE

Tuskegee class 44-B-SE poses for a picture in February 1944, with Lt. Moody standing fourth from right. Photo: Air Force Historical Research Agency

Honoring the Tuskegee Airmen

A black and white photo of Lt. Frank H. Moody.
Lt. Frank Moody. Photo: Air Force Historical Research Agency

During World War II, some of the Tuskegee Airmen—the first African-American fighter pilots for the U.S. Army Air Corps—trained over the Great Lakes. Six Tuskegee Airmen and their aircraft were lost in the lakes.

Recently, archaeologists have been working to find these aircraft so their pilots can be honored and the sites can be protected for future generations. One of the lost Tuskegee Airmen, Lt. Frank Moody, was killed when his Bell P-39Q Airacobra crashed in Lake Huron in 1944. The aircraft was discovered in 30 feet of water in Lake Huron and documented by state maritime archaeologist Wayne Lusardi and partners from Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research.

a black and white photo of a tow target

A Schweizer Aircraft Company tow target like this one was discovered in Lake Huron during a NOAA project to locate additional Tuskegee aircraft. Photo: Paul Schweizer

a diver documenting the the uncovered wing of an aircraft

Wayne Lusardi documents the portside wingtip of Lt. Moody’s wrecked aircraft. Photo: Eric Denson