The Story of Captain Wendell O. Pruitt
Grades: 3 - 8

Video Description: New May 2022! This biographic profile tells the story of Captain Wendell Oliver Pruitt, pioneering pilot of the 15th Air Force and a Tuskegee Airman. His story begins with humble beginnings and a desire to fly. His quiet demeanor growing up gave no clue as to the fierce pilot he would become as he battled America’s enemies during the second World War. The flying ace won the Distinguished Flying Cross, and decades after his death, a Congressional Gold Medal.

Type of Video: Profile*
Unique Video ID: US History-163**

Quick Ideas for Using the Video:

  • Use the video as an inspiration example for students engaged in a history project focused on their own community as they research a local current or historic individual of their choice and develop a biographic portrait of them in either a video, project display, story, or essay.
  • Use the video in conjunction with your study of American history. How does it help student understanding of the impact of the Tuskegee Airmen on American history? How does it help student understanding of the history of black Americans in the 20th century?
  • Have students study the mural created to honor Captain Pruitt and use it as a basis in creating a similar one for someone they admire.


*Profile videos use a first-person/first-hand approach to highlight interesting people doing interesting things in the area of study.

**The unique Video ID can be used to quickly locate a single video in the ET collection. This search function is designed to let teachers assign students to watch a specific video and have only that video appear as a search result. Just click on Search and choose “By Video ID.” Then type in the Video ID as it appears above. Be sure to include the dash.