End of the 99th

On July 2, 1944, the 99th Squadron joined the 332nd Fighter Group, another group of Black men trained at the Tuskegee Institute. Their integration with the newer 332nd officially ended the existence of the 99th as a distinct military group. Members of the 99th voiced opposition to being reassigned to this new all-Black squadron. As the 332nd had only arrived in the war zone in February 1944, they had no significant battle experience. The 99th considered the change a regression to segregationist policies, one that held no positive or strategic military merit.

Members of the 332nd were equally concerned that they would not be given the same level of assignments as the more experienced 99th unit. But, ultimately the priorities of winning the war brought the units together. The group continued to provide air support for the Allied troops in Italy and later throughout Europe.

On September 2, 1945 when World War II finally came to an end, the members of the 99th and 332nd were able to proudly acknowledge their valuable contribution to the success of the Allied forces. Though handicapped by racial prejudice they did not allow it define their commitment and their participation.


Copyright 2001-, Terry Muse
Revised: December 30, 2001
URL: http://black_and_hispanic.tripod.com/blackhistory/
Contact: Terry Muse