All of the pilots who would become known as the Tuskegee Airmen took their flight training in Tuskegee, Alabama. When they received their wings as bona fide Army Air Corps pilots, they could fly just about anything with wings but needed further training in air combat tactics. The Walterboro Army Air Field (WAAF) in Walterboro, South Carolina provided that (segregated) training to Tuskegee-trained fighter and bomber pilots beginning in April, 1944.
Besides training pilots for air combat, WAAF had the largest camouflage school in the country. The use of wartime camouflage to protect men and machines was in its infancy, but its importance was understood.
In 1944, a prisoner-of-war camp with housing for 250 inmates was established at the air field. 150 German POWs served out the rest of the war there, working on local farms during the day.
Walterboro was a busy place for a few years!
After the war, the POWs went home, the temporary barracks and hangars at the airport were taken down and the runways reverted to civilian use. The city of Walterboro grew steadily, but always valued its history. In 1997, a Tuskegee Airmen monument was dedicated as part of the Walterboro Army Air Field Memorial Park across from the airport. Besides the Tuskegee Airmen monument, the Memorial Park includes information about others who had been affected by Walterboro Army Air Field during the World War II years.