Documentary

Print Friendly

Luft Gangster Movie Poster Large (1)

Status: Release (2016) – Honoring Tuskegee Airman’s 75th Anniversary
Length: TV one hour format or 70 min feature length (Screener available)
Number of Programs: 1
Territory: World (Television)

Log Line

Red Tail fighter pilot Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson,  a WWII POW and Nazi death camp eyewitness, tells all in this award winning documentary commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen. (Directed by Mike Rott)

Story

On his 19th long range mission, Lt. Col. Jefferson was shot down by a German artillery unit.  His squadron was strafing radar stations off the coast of Southern France.  “We didn’t know what radar was at the time,” said Alex.  “We  had orders to destroy tall towers off the coast.  We shot the hell out of them.  We destroyed the towers and the buildings all around them.”  As it turned out, the radar stations that they destroyed were used by the Germans to control guns firing out to sea.  Destroying them limited the German capability to attack Allied ships approaching French shores.  Just two days later Operation Dragoon,  the Allied invasion of Southern France, came up.  Alex was hit mid-flight while strafing at upwards of 400mph.  He remarks, “I looked up and saw that there was a hole in the top of the canopy.  Fire came up out of the floor. That sucker hit me square.”  He bailed out and was caught in a tree struggling to free himself when German soldiers ran up.  “This German officer ran up with a big Mowser. I could tell he was excited, astonished because he saw the color of my skin. But he saw the little gold bar on my collar and he saluted me.”  This is remarkable because during those times, in a segregated US Military, Alex had not received salutes by his countrymen.

Upon arriving at the German camp, Alex was brought before a German interrogator. The interrogator told Alex that he had attended University of Michigan and spent much of his spare time in Detroit’s Paradise Valley where he enjoyed whiskey, hot jazz and even hotter women. He said that he looked forward to returning to Detroit after Germany wins the war.  Alex was initially shunned by other American P.O.W.’s.   When a group of captured bombardiers were brought to Stalag Luft III the word spread , “If you red tails had flown with us, we would never have been shot down.”  Alex was quickly  accepted by all white officers.

Initial reports from his squadron claimed that  Lt. Col. Alex Jefferson was KIA (killed in action), his family was informed but it was months later after mourning his death that the Red Cross reported him as a POW

REVIEWS 

Local documentary, ‘Luft Gangster’, an uplifting story of a Tuskegee Airman

RATING: 5 out of 6 stars