A portion of Interstate 57 is being named in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen. The Illinois Department of Transportation sign that will mark a 19-mile stretch of Interstate 57 as the Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Trial was unveiled in Markham Monday. The 19 miles will span from exit 339 in Richton Park to exit 358 when I-57 merges into I-94 in Chicago.
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The first Tuskegee Airmen group was formed at Chanute Field in Rantoul in March 1941. Officially designated as the 99th Pursuit Squadron, those 271 African-American enlisted men would go on to make up other black squadrons at Tuskegee and Maxwell fields in Alabama. Before them there had not been any African-American U.S. military pilots.