In many ways, retired Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson (USAF) was fighting a fierce battle before, during and after his days as a fighter pilot in World War II. Jefferson, 92, was shot down during a mission and spent nine months in Stalag Luft III, a Nazi P.O.W. camp and location of “The Great Escape.”
It’s a fascinating account of bravery, perseverance and character. When he wasn’t fighting for his country, Jefferson was battling racism in his country.
Mike Rott, owner of Dynasty Media Network in Ferndale, Mich., is in the process of making a documentary about Lt. Col. Jefferson’s life and legacy. Titled The Jacket: The True Story of a Second Class Hero, this film recalls his trials and tribulations from early childhood racism in America, to his segregated military experience and overseas combat deployment in WWII.
While in Germany, Jefferson came face to face with racism of another type, the Holocaust. He tells of his traumatic walk through Dachau Concentration Camp, two days after it’s liberation by General Patton’s Third Army.
Jefferson was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American military aviators in the United States armed forces. He put his life on the line in WWII, only to be met with bigotry and hatred upon his return. In a chilling narrative from the film, he recalls the day of his arrival from overseas deployment in 1945:
“We came back across the Atlantic Ocean by boat. There were flags waving, the Statue of Liberty. Here we come, walking down the gangplank. It’s good to be back home.
“At the bottom of the gangplank, there was a little white soldier who said, ‘Whites to the right and niggers to the left.’ Damn it. Back home.”
Rott’s company has funded the film so far but needs an additional $150,000 to complete the project as a feature documentary. In order to generate this capital, Rott has launched an Indiegogo campaign that can be viewed at www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-jacket-documentary-tuskegee-fighter-pilot-pow-concentration-camp-witness
Contributions of any amount are welcome. Depending on their donation levels, backers will receive behind-the-scenes videos, DVD’s of the film, models of Jefferson’s fighter plane, autographed copies of Jefferson’s book (“Red Tail Captured, Red Tail Free”), Tuskegee Bomber Jackets and VIP invitations to the film premiere.
“Alex is one of the few Tuskegee Airmen fighter pilots who are still living,” said Rott. “Our goal is to share Alex's story with as many people, all over the world, as we possibly can. It’s a moving story and a very important one for today and also future generations.”
If you’re interested in learning more about Dynasty Media Network, visit the company’s website, www.dynastymedianetwork.com
Contact: Michael Rott
Company: Dynasty Media Network
Zip Code: 48220