Post WWII African American flying school, Wilmington, Chestnut on left and Gibbs on right in picture. Edward Albertis Gibbs (1919-1969) was a civilian flight instructor in Tuskegee, Alabama during WWII. In 1947 he started the Atlantic School of Aviation at Blumenthal Field in Wilmington, North Carolina, teaching African Americans how to fly. He founded the Negro Airman International, Inc., in 1967 to address the problems of black pilots getting into the aviation industry , and to promote aviation in the black community. Robert Chestnut (1911-1985) ran an auto repair shop in Wilmington for many years. He came to the Atlantic School of Aviation to get his pilot's license in the late 1940s-early 50s. The Chestnut family was instrumental in helping establish Ocean City Beach, a resort area for blacks in Pender County on Topsail Island.
African American Pilots
Chestnut, Robert, 1911-1985
Gibbs, Edward, 1919-1969
Fanny Chestnut Hairston Collection, New Hanover County Public Library
Given to the New Hanover County Public Library by Fanny Chestnut Hairston
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