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End of Segregation

DAYTON, Ohio -- Engineer Aviation Battalion exhibit near the Curtiss C-46D in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Engineer Aviation Battalion exhibit near the Curtiss C-46D in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Engineer Aviation Battalion exhibit near the Curtiss C-46D in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Engineer Aviation Battalion exhibit near the Curtiss C-46D in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Engineer Aviation Battalion exhibit near the Curtiss C-46D at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Engineer Aviation Battalion exhibit near the Curtiss C-46D at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

After the war, a Board of Officers met in 1946 to evaluate the aviation engineer experience and discuss the future of black engineer units. Showing how little impact the successful efforts of the black EABs made on thwarting institutional and individual bias, the board recommended:

"It follows that, because technical skills are relatively seldom attained by individuals of the colored race, Aviation Engineer units requiring a high proportion of technical skills would not normally be colored. On the other hand, colored personnel may be used, without comparable sacrifice of efficiency, in units wherein labor requirements are predominant."

The following year, however, institutional and individual bias gave way to the growing success of the Civil Rights movement when President Harry S Truman issued Executive Order 9981, which ordered the desegregation of the Armed Forces.

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