The "Tuskegee Experience," a program of the Army Air Corps to train African Americans as military pilots, began at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama in 1941. At home and abroad during World War II, the Tuskegee Airmen prevailed against enormous odds, including racism. The Airmen never lost an escorted bomber to enemy fighters. In March 1946, the Tuskegee Airmen 477th Composite Group and its supporting units were transferred from Godman Field, Kentucky, to Lockbourne Army Air Base, where Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. took command. In July 1948, President Harry S. Truman issued Executive Order Number 9981, which mandated "equality of treatment and opportunity in the armed forces." The Tuskegee Airmen played a major role in the integration of all U.S. military forces. The 477th was stationed at Lockbourne until 1949.