Red Tails feature film depicts the illustrious story of the Tuskegee Airmen, hits theaters nationwide Jan. 20
Jeep® brand sponsors movie screenings across the country
January 20, 2012 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – The Jeep® brand is partnering with Lucasfilm as part of a sponsorship to support their latest feature film Red Tails. The latest epic from producer George Lucas is inspired by the true story of America’s first all-black aerial combat unit The Tuskegee Airmen. The film also highlights the important role Jeep vehicles played in World War II and is featured in multiple scenes, including two action scenes that take place inside a Jeep vehicle.
“We commend George Lucas and Lucasfilm in the quest to tell the story of the Tuskegee Airmen’s courage, ability and resiliency seen in Red Tails,” said Kim Adams House, Head of Jeep Advertising. “It is a proud moment for the Jeep brand to reunite with the renowned and brave Tuskegee Airmen – who helped to keep the many missions in the air moving forward while Jeep vehicles kept our troops moving forward on land.”
In 1941, leading up to America’s involvement in World War II, the Army put out a call to automakers to build a fast, agile and versatile transport vehicle. The Jeep brand answered the call and produced more than 630,000 Jeep vehicles that were used by our military and allies.
“We are proud to have been a part of this historic depiction that illustrates the bravery of the Tuskegee Airmen. Red Tails is a movie that Jeep fans would appreciate as it also depicts the important role that Jeep vehicles played in the quest for freedom during World War II,” said Adams House.
“The image of a classic Jeep instantly recalls the historic era of World War II,” says Howard Roffman, President of Lucas Licensing. “Having the Jeep brand involved in the promotion of a movie that sets out to faithfully recreate 1944 and the inspiring story of the Tuskegee Airmen is a natural fit.”
Leading up to opening weekend the Jeep brand sponsored four premieres in Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles and the New York red carpet movie premiere where a 1944 Jeep vehicle shared the spotlight amongst the stars.
Built on 70 years of legendary heritage; Jeep is the authentic SUV with class-leading capability, craftsmanship and versatility for people who seek extraordinary journeys. The Jeep brand delivers an open invitation to live life to the fullest by offering a full line of vehicles that continue to provide owners with a sense of security to handle any journey with confidence.
The Jeep vehicle lineup consists of the Compass, Grand Cherokee, Liberty, Patriot, Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited. To meet consumer demand around the world, all six Jeep models are sold outside North America – and all are available in right-hand drive versions and with gasoline and diesel powertrain options. Chrysler Group LLC sells and services vehicles in approximately 120 countries around the world.
Lucasfilm Ltd. is one of the world’s leading film and entertainment companies. Founded by George Lucas in 1971, it is a privately held, fully-integrated entertainment company. In addition to its motion-picture and television production operations, the company’s global activities include Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, serving the digital needs of the entertainment industry for visual-effects and audio post-production; LucasArts, a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software worldwide; Lucas Licensing, which manages the global merchandising activities for Lucasfilm’s entertainment properties; Lucasfilm Animation, which is currently producing content for film and television, including Star Wars: The Clone Wars, a CG-animated half-hour television series; and Lucas Online creates Internet-based content for Lucasfilm’s entertainment properties and businesses. Additionally, Lucasfilm Singapore, produces digital animated content for film and television, as well as visual effects for feature films and multi-platform games. Lucasfilm’s motion-picture productions include three of the 20 biggest box-office hits of all time and have received 19 Oscars and more than 60 Academy Award nominations. Lucasfilm’s television projects have won 12 Emmy Awards. Lucasfilm Ltd. is headquartered in San Francisco, Calif.
The Tuskegee Airmen
The Tuskegee Airmen were dedicated, determined young men who enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps to become America’s first black military airmen. They accepted the challenge during a time when many people thought that blacks lacked the intelligence, skill, courage and patriotism for such an endeavor. From 1941 through 1946 close to 1,000 pilots graduated from Tuskegee Army Air Field (TAAF), receiving pilot wings, approximately 350 deployed overseas and saw combat action in Europe.
The black navigators, bombardiers and gunnery crews were trained at other selected military bases elsewhere in the United States. Mechanics were initially trained at Chanute Air Base in Rantoul, Ill. until facilities were in place in 1942 at TAAF. Including the all maintenance, support and administrative personnel between 16,000 and 19,000 individuals participated in the Tuskegee Experience.
During WWII there were four fighter squadrons (99th, 100th, 301st, and 302nd) that eventually were organized under the 332nd Fighter group. The 99th was the first to deploy and they flew in North Africa and Sicily before moving to the Italian mainland, where they were joined by the other squadrons. There were four bomber squadrons (616th, 617th, 618th and 619th) that were organized under the 477th Bomb Group that were slated for combat in the Pacific Theater but WWII ended prior to their deployment.
Like Jeep, the Tuskegee Airmen celebrated a 70th anniversary in 2011. The Tuskegee Airmen celebrated the anniversary of the start of the Tuskegee training program. Jeep celebrated the beginning of production of its trademark vehicle.