Tuskegee Airmen's Plaza
This plaza commemorates the Tuskegee Airmen who were trained at Moton Field and fought in World War II. It is located next on the Tuskegee University campus next to the Chappie James Arena and features a fighter jet on display. The memorial also honors the men and women who worked as mechanics, instructors, and other support staff.
Backstory and Context
The Tuskegee Airman were the first black aviators in the American military during World War II. It started as an experiment by the military to see if African-Americans could be trained to fly combat aircraft. Many black Americans were still subject to the Jim Crow laws and the military was still racially segregated. The Airman were subject to many forms of harassment and racial discrimination. The military chose the Tuskegee Institute to train airmen for its commitment to aeronautical training. All black pilots during this time were trained at Moton Airfield and the Tuskegee Army Airfield located near Tuskegee, Alabama.
In all, 992 airman were trained in Tuskegee from 1940 to 1946. They overcame prejudice and segregation to become one of the most respected fighter groups of World War II. They proved they possessed the intelligence and sophistication necessary to operate and maintain complicated combat aircraft.
"The Tuskegee Airmen's Plaza." Historical Markers Across Alabama. Accessed October 1, 2014. http://www.lat34north.com/historicmarkersal/MarkerDetail.cfm?KeyID=44-009&MarkerTitle=The%20Tuskegee...