TUSKEGEE, Ala. (WIAT) — The Tuskegee Airmen are among the most famous fighter pilots in the world.
Their journey started through a program called the civilian pilot training program. From there, the group of black pilots later became known as the Tuskegee Airmen. A lot of the training for the airman took place at what’s called Sharpe Field, which at the time was called Tuskegee Army Airfield.
“That’s where they would go for the more advanced and transition flying,” Tuskegee National Forest Ranger Frank Toland said.
Toland said that at the time, Sharpe Field was a full-scale military base with four hangers, four runways, barracks, and a post office.
Sharpe Field is now boarded up and owned by a lumber company, according to the National Park Service.
Toland said the P-51 Mustang was one of the most famous planes the Tuskegee Airman used.
“Once they got the P-51 Mustang flew many missions as a bomber escort into deep into German territory,” he said.
From the planes, uniforms and a glimpse inside of a segregated military, the legacy is alive inside the Tuskegee Airmen Museum.
Earlier this month during the State of the Union address, 100-year-old Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee was promoted to brigadier general by President Donald Trump.
Gov. Kay Ivey plans to make March 7 “Tuskegee Airmen Day.”