Toni Fissell took this photograph in Italy in 1945. It depicts two Tuskegee Airmen, Marcellus G. Smith and Roscoe C. Brown, of the 332nd Fighter Group working on the engine of a P-51 Mustang. These men and their group were stationed in Italy and fought in the Mediterranean theater of World War II. They trained at the Tuskegee Airbase in Alabama before being deployed to the Mediterranean, where they, along with the 99th Fighter Squadron, were instrumental to the Allied success in that theater.
Training at Tuskegee did not only include air combat training. The P-51 Mustang that Smith and Brown are working on was the best aircraft for the “dogfights” they were involved in at the time, but the men were also extremely technically skilled in building and fixing the aircrafts. These specific set of skills are part of the reason that the Tuskegee Airbase was non-segregated, and gave some African Americans the chance that many other never did; to be involved in combat overseas. You can also see that this plane and the plane in the background were given names, State and Tootsie, and the names are drawn or painted on the side, symbolizing the importance of the air crafts and the pride the airmen had for what they were involved in.
The photographer, Toni Fissell, was a well-known fashion photographer in America prior to World War II. She was hired by the Red Cross to photograph women and African Americans in action to garner public support for the two groups in America. This picture may have been used in a poster or any other kind of government propaganda to encourage African Americans to either join the fight or buy war bonds. It can now be found in the Library of Congress in Washington D.C in the Toni Frissell collection, which highlights the stories Frissell told with her pictures of women and African Americans and how they influenced the identity of both groups in America at the time.
 Penny Colman, Where The Action Was: Women War Correspondents in World War II, New York: Crown Publishers, 2002.