In 1945, at the end of World War II, African Americans assumed a more active role in aviation. A number of talented pilots entered the world of general aviation.
In time, black pilots also made their way into commercial aviation, an important breakthrough accelerated by the Supreme Court case of Marlon Green who sought acceptance as a commercial pilot in one of the major airlines. Black military pilots made significant contributions to both the Korean and Vietnam wars. With the advent of the space program, African Americans finally made their way into the astronaut corps, serving in a variety of technical and flying roles. The appointment of astronaut Charles Bolden as the head of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) became an important benchmark in the ever-expanding role of African Americans in aerospace.