1941 Newspaper article, training at Chanute Field, IL

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On 22 March 1941, the first all-black fighter squadron was activated at Chanute Field, Illinois. Formed without pilots with the purpose of training the officer corps and ground support personnel, the 99th Pursuit Squadron was the first unit of what popularly became known as the Tuskegee Airmen. Over 250 enlisted men were trained at Chanute Filed in aircraft ground support trades such as airplane mechanics, supply clerks, armorers, and weather forecasters.

The Army later opted to have the black pilots train near the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.