Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Where were the Tuskegee Airmen trained?

In my entry for Air Force Timelines Page (World War II section) (Air Force Historical Research Agency), I claim you can answer the question “Where were the Tuskegee Airmen trained?” with this resource. Here’s how:

  1. Visit the site and examine the World War II section
  2. While there are three resources mentioning the Tuskegee Airmen, the most likely source for our question appears to be Five Airfields of Tuskegee During World War II. On the very first page, you’ll find the five fields at which the airmen were trained:

What is far less known is the story of the five airfields in Macon Country Alabama where  the Tuskegee Airmen learned to fly military airplanes. In this paper, I want to describe those  airfields and the important historical role each played in the greater Tuskegee Airmen story.  The airfields are Kennedy Field, Moton Field, Tuskegee Army Air Field, Griel Field, and Shorter Field. Only one of them is still an active airfield today, and that one is not the largest or the most
important of the five.

We also learn (unsurprisingly) that there was an openly racist reason for holding the training at the Tuskegee Institute:

A third reason is that the War Department insisted that the black pilots be trained separately from white pilots, and be assigned to units designed especially for black pilots, and not be integrated with the white pilots training elsewhere. Tuskegee was in an environment where segregation was already entrenched. Although white residents of the town of Tuskegee and Macon County were not happy that black cadets from around the world were coming to their part of the country, at least the blacks would be in segregated units.

As implied by “third reason” above, there were also non racial reasons for training the Tuskegee airmen in Alabama. Read the full paper for more details.

This resource is just one of the many US Air Force related resources that are in Writer’s Guide to Government Information.

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