Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrance Howard have both played members of the Tuskegee Airmen in the past. On top of that, Terrance Howard has previously played a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force (well, Army Air Forces, given the time period.)
Writer Aaron McGruder also has some previous experience with the subject. The main character's grandfather in The Boondocks is a former Tuskegee Airman and occasionally features flashbacks to this period.
Hire The Critic: A frequent topic on Aaron McGruder's comic strip The Boondocks was Jar Jar Binks and the racial stereotyping he portrayed. So when George Lucas decided he wanted a screenwriter for Red Tails who knew how to write well for black people, guess who he chose to hire? That's right, Aaron McGruder.note And he claimed he was so excited to work with George Lucas that the topic of Jar Jar never came up once!