The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of primarily African American military pilots and airmen who fought in World War II. They formed the 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the Unites States Army Air Forces. The name also applies to the navigators, bombardiers, mechanics, instructors, crew chiefs, nurses, cooks and other support personnel. They were most commonly associated with the North American P-51 Mustang (July 1944). The pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group painted the tails of their planes red, hence the nickname “Red Tails”. The red markings that distinguished the Tuskegee Airmen included red bands on the noses of the P-51s as well as a red rudder. They were active between the years 1940 to 1948.