The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of African-American and Caribbean-born military pilots (fighter and bomber) who fought in World War II. They formed the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Forces. The name also applies to the navigators, bombardiers, mechanics, instructors, crew chiefs, nurses, cooks and other support personnel.

All black military pilots who trained in the United States trained at Griel Field, Kennedy Field, Moton Field, Shorter Field and the Tuskegee Army Air Fields. They were educated at Tuskegee University (formerly Tuskegee Institute), located near Tuskegee, Alabama. The group included five Haitians from the Haitian Air Force, and one pilot from Trinidad. It also included a Hispanic or Latino airman born in the Dominican Republic.

They are best known for the extraordinary efforts in the air war of World War II, and for challenging the stereotypes that had kept black Americans from serving as pilots in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Here you will find in-depth, historically accurate information about the Tuskegee Airmen. Expand your knowledge and be inspired!

The Tuskegee Airmen

*NOTE:  The term “Tuskegee Airmen” is not an official USAF definition, but was invented by Charles Francis when he wrote his 1955 book with that title, the USAF does not define the term, and does not determine who is or is not a Tuskegee Airman. 

 

Tuskegee Airmen Incorporated (TAI) defines a Tuskegee Airman as anyone involved in the Tuskegee Airmen experience, who belonged to their units or who were assigned to the installations where their units were assigned, whether those personnel were black or white, male or female.  By the TAI definition, the nurses at Tuskegee Army Air Field would be both Tuskegee nurses and Tuskegee Airmen who happened to be nurses. 

 

A special thanks to Dr. Daniel Haulman, Chief, Organizational Histories Branch of the Air Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama for providing historical resources and guidance to ensure accuracy. Haulman is a co-author of The Tuskegee Airmen: An Illustrated History: 1939-1949 published by NewSouth Books and author of many historical papers on the Tuskegee Airmen published by the Air Force Historical Research Agency. All archival photos are courtesy of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.