|Tuskegee Airmen Monument, Walterboro, SC|
I wondered what the Walterboro connection was but, although named for their origins at Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute, the pilots of the famed 332nd Fighter Group completed final training in Walterboro, South Carolina at Walterboro Army Airfield so it made sense to put the memorial here.
The Tuskegee airmen were the first black servicemen to serve as military aviators in the U.S. armed forces, flying with distinction during World War II. Though subject to racial discrimination both at home and abroad, the 996 pilots and more than 15,000 ground personnel who served with the all-black units would be credited with some 15,500 combat sorties and earn over 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses for their achievements. The highly publicized successes of the Tuskegee Airmen helped pave the way for the eventual integration of the U.S. armed forces under President Harry Truman in 1948.