On September 1, 1939, World War II was declared in Europe when Germany invaded Poland. The United States entered the war two years later on December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attacked U.S. military and naval bases at Pearl Harbor. This was the first war in which women could serve on active duty, and the first war in which African Americans could fly planes in the U.S. military.
Although the Tuskegee Airmen faced severe discrimination in the U.S. and mandates of the Jim Crow laws in the south, they volunteered in large numbers to help fight in World War II. With Veterans Day (Nov. 11) approaching, share this segment of Iowa Public Television's “Iowa’s WWII Stories” with your class to help them learn more about the 332nd fighter group – it includes historical footage and profiles a member of the Tuskegee Airmen.