The Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American pilots who broke racial barriers and served their country with distinction during World War II, became one of the most celebrated groups of pilots in American history.
The Tuskegee Airmen were trained at the Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama, which was the only military installation at the time that allowed African Americans to be trained as pilots.
Despite facing discrimination and racism, the Tuskegee Airmen proved their worth as skilled and dedicated pilots. They flew over 15,000 sorties and provided escort for bomber planes during the war, earning a reputation for their bravery and skill in the air.
They arrived at Lockbourne Army Airfield (now known as Rickenbacker International Airport) in July 1945. At the time, the airmen were part of the 332nd Fighter Group, which was assigned to the 477th Bombardment Group at Lockbourne. The airmen were stationed at Lockbourne for several months before being transferred to other locations, and their service at the base was a significant milestone in the integration of the U.S. military.
In addition to their combat achievements, the Tuskegee Airmen played a significant role in breaking down racial barriers in the military and society at large. Their success and bravery paved the way for the integration of the armed forces, and their legacy continues to inspire and empower people around the world today.
In recognition of their service, the Tuskegee Airmen have received numerous awards and honors, including the Congressional Gold Medal, which was awarded to the surviving members of the group in 2007. A historical marker stands in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen at Rickenbacker International Airport for passengers and community members to access.
The above images depict the Tuskegee Airmen during their service to our country.
The below images depict the Tuskegee Airmen who were able to return for the dedication of the historical marker at Rickenbacker International Airport on November 10, 2003.
Ohio Tuskegee Airmen Day will be celebrated March 29, 2023. The day is dedicated to honoring the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen as trailblazers who paved the way for future generations of Black pilots and service members.