Jerry Whiting, Milpitas Rotary Club's featured speaker, skillfully informed Milpitas Rotarians and guests Monday about dangerous missions with the 485th Bomb Group in the European Theatre during World War II. The group his father served in was protected by the black pilots of the Tuskegee Red Tails Air Group of fighter escorts.
In his book, I'm Off To War, Mother, But I'll Be Back, Whiting describes his father, Wayne, a 15th Air Force B-24 tail gunner's experiences beating back German aggression and helping to win the war.
There was a very special relationship this airman and some members of his group had with the 332nd Fighter Group, the famed black Tuskegee Airmen. The highlight of Whiting's program was a short video of the recent reunion of these black and white veterans produced by George Lucas' company with excerpts from NBS News with Tom Brokaw and Brian Williams.
These remaining heroic flyers lived to tell their stories of extreme danger and survival. Lucas also produced the film "Red Tails" about the black airmen, who were integrated into the Air Force and proved themselves in the sky. Whiting has also authored several other books covering various accounts of his war stories.
The Milpitas Rotary Club meets at noon on Mondays at Brandon's Restaurant in the Beverly Heritage Hotel.