In World War II, the Tuskegee Airmen were a group of primarily African American military pilots and airmen. Together they formed the 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group and the 477th Bombardment Group.
During World War II, the 99th Pursuit Squadron (later the 99th Fighter Squadron) was the first black flying squadron to deploy overseas (to North Africa in April 1943, and later to Sicily and other parts of Italy). As the first black aircraft group, the 332nd Fighter Group originally included the 100th, 301st, and 302nd Fighter Squadrons. The group was sent to Italy in early 1944. The 332nd Fighter Group began flying heavy bomber escort missions in June 1944 and, in July 1944, with the addition of the 99th Fighter Squadron, it had four fighter squadrons. Despite training with North American B-25 Mitchells, the 477th Bombardment Group never saw combat.