patrol advances through the jungle
in Japanese-held territory
Marine Corps started enlisting African-Americans
on June 1, 1942.
Admiral Chester W. Nimitz pins Navy Cross on Doris Miller
Gen. Ben Davis, the Army’s first
African American general
The black airmen who became
single-engine or multi-engine pilots were trained at Tuskegee Army Air Field
(TAAF) in Tuskegee Alabama. The first aviation cadet class began in July 1941
and completed training nine months later in March 1942. Thirteen started in
the first class. Five successfully completed the training, one of them being
Captain Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., a West Point Academy graduate. The other four
were commissioned second lieutenants, and all five received Army Air Corps
silver pilot wings.
From 1942 through 1946, nine
hundred and ninety-four pilots graduated at TAAF, receiving commissions and
pilot wings. Black navigators, bombardiers and gunnery crews were trained at
selected military bases elsewhere in the United States. Mechanics were trained
at Chanute Air Base in Rantoul, Illinois until facilities were in place in
1942 at TAAF.