WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Officials at Sheppard Air Force Base are honoring the first black military aviators in the U.S. Army.

The Tuskegee Airmen flew during World War II in the Army Air Corps and were trained at the Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama but some came through Sheppard Air Force Base for training. To honor their legacy, Sheppard officials renamed “5th Avenue”, “Tuskegee Airmen Avenue”.

82nd Training Wing and Installation Commander Brig. Gen. Kenyon Bell said it was special to be a part of this day.

“Some of these things that I’m accomplishing now and doing right now in the military simply would not have been possible had it not been for the Tuskegee Airmen,” Brig. Gen. Bell said. “Who proved that they were capable and able to do things that every other American can do and do it extremely well.”

They received more than 150 distinguished flying crosses for their missions and paved the way for the eventual integration of the U.S. Armed forces.