In August 2017, officials at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point unveiled new barracks on their campus dedicated to Tuskegee Airman Benjamin O. Davis Jr.
During his education at West Point, Davis was shunned by his fellow cadets, forced to bunk alone and even eat all his meals in isolation. No cadets, faculty or staff members befriended or spoke to him except on an official basis. He was made to feel unwanted and unvalued because of that era’s prevailing ignorant racism. In a show of great perseverance and strength, in 1936 Davis became the fourth black American to graduate from West Point, and the first in the 20th century, graduating 35th in his class 276 cadets.
Davis went on to earn his wings in the first class of pilots that would become known as the Tuskegee Airmen, and eventually commanded these legendary pilots in both the 332nd Fighter Group and 447th Bombardment Group.