The Tuskegee Army Air Field became the vital center for training African Americans to fly fighter and bomber aircraft.
In 1941, the U. S. Army Air Corps (predecessor to the modern-day U.S. Air Force) was a segregated part of the military. With World War II near at hand, it was decided to offer training to African Americans as pilots and mechanics. The new air base at Tuskegee, Alabama, became the center for the training program of black air personnel. First with the 99th Fighter Squadron and later with the 332nd Fighter Group, African Americans made their contribution to the war effort, serving in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy during the war. Called the "Tuskegee Airmen," these airmen made a pioneering contribution to the war and the subsequent drive to end racial segregation in the American armed forces.