Looking to the Future

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Southern Airways School yearbook, Clear Above 53G, 1953. Courtesy of the Southwest Georgia Regional Library via Digital Library of Georgia.

Military facilities that were built during World War II evolved as centers of training for the postwar landscape. Some Georgia Army air corps and naval air bases worked on a contract basis with the Armed Forces to train pilots during peacetime; some were turned over to city and county governments for service as public-use airports. The Southern Airways School in Bainbridge, Georgia, became a training site for commercial pilots.

Georgia factories and munitions plants became the setting for fair employment standards during the war, and served as a model afterwards.

When African American veterans returned to Georgia at the end of World War II, they arrived ready to participate equally in the political and economic opportunities available in the state. Bolstered by their wartime service, and driven to benefit from the rights they had fought for while abroad, they formed voter registration drives, and campaigned for racial equality. African American veterans founded organizations dedicated to fulfilling and protecting their rights, benefits, and freedoms as former GIs.