About M.A.L.T.A.

Motivation and Learning Through Aviation (MALTA) was founded by Ben Henderson in May, 2007. MALTA is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. The organization was formed and designed to promote the fundamental truths held in our United States Constitution.

The overall objective of MALTA is to encourage youth involvement and to lift them up so that they may see their potential utilizing aviation as the foundation. Our main goal is to inspire and motivate youth to continue to learn and find a positive direction in life, to become an asset to their communities and fellow human beings. MALTA carries out this mission through hands-on training, stimulating and thought provoking classroom instruction, simulator flight training, and actual airplane flying accompanied by a skilled flight instructor.

In order to accomplish our goal, we have developed the MALTA 332nd Fighter Group Historical Replica Project (332nd FGHRP). MALTA is dedicated to maintaining the traditions and preserving the legacy of a group of brave men who viewed education as the key to opportunity. These brave men, known as the Tuskegee Airmen, were the first generation of African American military aviators to serve our country with honor during World War II.

A little history on the Tuskegee Airmen of WWII

These black fighter pilots, in the face of racism, became known and feared by the Germans as "Schwartze Vogelmenschen" (Black Birdmen) and as the "Fighting Red Tail Angels" to the American bomber crews they protected. They racked up an impressive combat record in the skies over Europe and North Africa flying more than 200 missions as fighter escort on long-range bombing raids. The Tuskegee Airmen never lost a bomber to enemy fighters. They flew more than 15,000 combat sorties in 15,000 missions and destroyed more than 600 enemy aircraft. Of the 992 black aviators trained at Tuskegee Army Airfield, 66 died in service to their country in combat and 32 were taken as prisoners of war in Germany.

Due to the rigid pattern of segregation that prevailed in the United States during WWII, the training of 926 black military aviators was concentrated at an isolated, specially constructed army airfield near Tuskegee, Alabama, and at Tuskegee Institute. The first contingent of the 99th Pursuit Squadron (later designated as fighter squadron), was a group of enlisted technical and administrative specialists, who had been trained at the U.S. Army Air Corps Technical Training School at Chanute Field, Rantoul, Illinois. These individuals established a superior grade point average during their training period, April - November 1941.

Four hundred and fifty (450) black fighter pilots, under the command of Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. (later to become the United States Air Force's first black Lt. General), fought the aerial war over North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Southern France, and Europe flying P-40, P-39, P-47 and P-51 aircraft. These gallant men flew 16,553 sorties and completed 1,578 combat missions while assigned to the U.S. Army's XII (Tactical) and XV (Strategic) Air Forces. The 99th Fighter Squadron, already distinguised by its impressive combat record over North Africa, Sicily, Italy and over the Anzio beachhead, was joined by the 100th, 301st, and 302nd Fighter Squadrons, comprising the 332nd Fighter Group.

Organization Management

Ben Henderson (CEO/Program Director) - Ben has been active in aviation for more than fifty-five years. It was his aviation experience and involvement with the Tuskegee Airmen, that MALTA was founded. "Our goal is to use aviation as a positive motivating tool that will take our youth wherever their minds will lead them." - Contact Ben at ben@maltaviation.org