The Tuskegee airmen were the first black servicemen to serve as military aviators in the U.S. armed forces, flying with distinction during World War II. Though subject to racial discrimination both at home and abroad, the 996 pilots and more than 15,000 ground personnel who served with the all-black units would be credited with some 15,500 combat sorties and earn over 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses for their achievements. The highly publicized successes of the Tuskegee Airmen helped pave the way for the eventual integration of the U.S. armed forces under President Harry Truman in 1948.
More to Explore
This Day in History
World War II
On this day, the U.S. Navy takes control of the largest and most luxurious ocean liner on the seas at that time, France's Normandie, while it is docked at…
An international military conflict, World War II involved most countries around the world and lasted from 1939 to 1945.
In the 1950s and 1960s, civil rights activists in the United States used nonviolent protest, civil disobedience and legal action to end segregation and pursue equality for all Americans.
Of the 2 million soldiers who fought for the Union during the Civil War, about 180,000 were African-American. Forty thousand black soldiers died in the war.
Black History Month celebrates the contributions of African Americans to American history and culture.
Did You Know?
The Tuskegee Airmen have been the subject of several books and movies, including the 2012 film "Red Tails," produced by George Luca
Fact Check We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!
Keep up with the latest History shows, online features, special offers and more.Sign up