Johnny Nicholas’s dream is to fly airplanes—an impossible dream for a Black man in 1930s America.

After WWII started, the Army launches an experimental program to train Black pilots in Tuskegee, Alabama. Against this parents’ wishes, Johnny boards a train headed to the segregated South. But even the rising death toll of World War II may not be enough incentive for the government to allow Black pilots to fly bombers.

As Johnny grows convinced that the war will end before he sees a battlefield, the Tuskegee airmen are ordered to the European front. In Italy, reality quickly dispels his daydream fantasies of dogfights and glory, and one unshakeable Jerry on his bomber’s tail paves the way to a hell that few men escape and a mountain of bones that reach to the moon.

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