Did the success of the Tuskegee Airmen end racism in the United States military?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I'm sure that you will still find instances of racism in the military even today, but the success of the Tuskegee Airmen certainly helped to end the racial divide that was found in the United States armed forces. African American units were still segregated from white units during World War II, and segregation continued after the war until 1948 when President Harry Truman signed his Executive Order 9981, outlawing segregative practices in the military. Blacks and whites would soon serve side-by-side during the Korean War beginning in 1950. The Tuskegee Airmen--more accurately, the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps--faced racism and harrassment during and after the war, but their record as one of the top flying units helped to eliminate much of the problem. They were often requested as escorts by white bomber groups, and after the war, the 332nd won the All Air Force Gunnery Meet in Las Vegas in 1949. One of the unit's flyers, Daniel "Chappie" James, became the U. S. military's first-ever African American four-star general.