Sponsors: Senator Williams, Representative Jackson
This resolution designated the fourth Thursday in March as “Tuskegee Airmen Commemoration Day.” Before 1939, African Americans were barred from flying in the U.S. Military. After long years of advocacy and activism to change this, in 1941 the all -African-American 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Forces were formed. These 996 pilots and 15,000 ground personnel are more commonly known as the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American pilots trained at Tuskegee, Alabama. The Tuskegee Airmen had an exemplary record in combat in World War II, flying more than 15,000 sorties and destroying over 1,000 German aircraft. They received many high honors, including hundreds of Air Medals and more than 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses. In 2007, the Tuskegee Airmen were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.