of the Tuskegee Airmen
Moton Field was the primary flight training facility for the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. More than 10,000 African-American men and women in military and civilian groups supported the Tuskegee Airmen. They served as flight instructors, officers, bombardiers, navigators, radio technicians, mechanics, air traffic controllers, parachute riggers, and electrical and communications specialists. Support personnel also included laboratory assistants, cooks, musicians, and supply, fire-fighting, and transportation personnel. Their participation helped paved the way for desegregation of the military that began with President Harry S. Truman’s Executive Order 9981 in 1948.
Moton Field, built between 1940-1942, was named after Robert Russa Moton, the second President of The Tuskegee Institute. Sharpe Field, located on the nearby Tuskegee Army Airfield, was the location of both basic and advanced flight training. Moton Field, however, became the primary flight training facility for the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II.
After pilot cadets passed primary flight training at Moton Field, they transferred to Tuskegee Army Air Field (TAAF) to complete their training with the Army Air Corps. TAAF was a full-scale military base built by the U.S. military. The facility at Moton Field included two aircraft hangars, a control tower, locker building, clubhouse, wooden offices and storage buildings, brick storage buildings, and a vehicle maintenance area. The base at Tuskegee Army Air Field was closed in 1946. The current site of Moton Field was deeded to the city of Tuskegee in 1972, and continues to operate as a municipal airport.
Located right at Moton Field, this interactive exhibit that showcases the WWII Achievements of the famous Tuskegee Airmen. The national museum contains audio recordings, artifacts, letters, and other memorabilia from this important time in our nation’s history.
You can also visit the Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site showcasing the scientific achievements of George Washington Carver and the educational and business contributions of Booker T. Washington, founder of Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University).