Red Tails opens in cinemas on Wednesday. Inspired by real events, the film tells of an all-black US squadron overcoming prejudice at home to fight on the front line. But they were not the first African Americans to fly in combat. Eugene Bullard flew with the French in World I - after first fleeing the US to Scotland.

As a boy Eugene Jacques Bullard saw little of the American dream. His mother died when he was five and his father was almost lynched a few years later.

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