8252 Earhart Rd, Oakland, CA 94621, USA

(510) 638-7100

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African Americans in Aviation

Digital Exhibit

General Benjamin O. Davis Jr.

Benjamin O. Davis Jr.,a pioneering military officer was the leader of the fabled Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. He was the first African American to become a General in the Air Force.  His combat record and that of the unit he led have been credited with playing a major role in prompting the integration of the armed services after World War II.

Collection Items of Interest

• Uniforms      • Clothing      • Photos

• Maps            • Posters        • Personal Papers


Black Americans, both men and women, have left their legacy in the skies over the United States and around the world. From commercial enterprises to war veterans, these brave men and women opened the aviation frontier to all that would follow. African Americans have played a significant role in U.S. military history. They were denied military leadership roles and skilled training because many believed they lacked qualifications for combat duty.

This exhibit is the beginning of the epic story of The Evolution of Black Americans in Aviation. From people such as General Benjamin Davis Jr., to the Tuskegee Airmen, these individuals made significant and everlasting contributions to the United States itself and specifically to aviation.

Oakland Aviation Museum takes pride in being able to exhibit artifacts and information relevant to the struggle and ultimate success of all Black Americans as they ventured into aviation and space