1948 -- Integrating the Air Force

On 26 July 1948, President Truman issued Executive Order 9981 that called for equal treatment within the military services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin. Of all the services, the Air Force was in the best position to respond to President Truman's call because the Air Force had already been studying solutions to the problem of improving military efficiency. The objection of some Air Force leaders was met firmly by the new Secretary of the Air Force, W. Stuart Symington. Symington told the Air Force generals he expected no one to impede integration, and those who didn't agree with the policy should resign. As early as 1947, Secretary Symington was on record that blacks should be able to enter the Air Force on the basis of their merits and abilities rather than their race. He is also given credit for taking part in the creation of President Truman's Executive Order 9981. Over the next few years, under his guidance the Air Force broke up black units and became the first service to complete integration. This program required a great deal of effort and patience on the part of all concerned, but it was the beginning of Air Force policies on equality as we know them today.

The article by Herman Wolk, AFHSO, in the July 1998 Air Force Magazine:
When the Color Line Ended, gives more information on the integration of the Air Force.  

See these AFHSO publications:

The Air Force Integrates: 1945-1964, by Alan L. Gropman

Blacks in the Army Air Forces during World War II, by Alan M. Osur

Separate and Unequal: Race Relations in the AAF in WWII, by Alan M. Osur