WWI pilots of African ancestry
They were part of the millions of military personnel, who were recruited by the so-called superpowers and their allies to fight in the war.
Ahmet Ali Çelikten, who was born to an Afro-Turk father and a woman of Nigerian descent in 1883 in the Ottoman Empire (also known as Turkey), is widely regarded as one of the first black military pilots in the history of aviation. A member of the Ottoman Airforce, Ali Çelikten fought for the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. His grandmother was brought to the Ottoman Empire as a slave from Bornu in Nigeria.
Eugene Jacques Bullard was born in Columbus, Georgia in 1895, and was the first African-American military pilot whose father was from Martinique. His descendants, who were enslaved in Haiti moved to the United States during the Haitian Revolution. Bullard stayed in the United Kingdom then later in France after leaving the United States to escape racial discrimination. He flew for France during the First World War.
Domenico Mondelli was born in Asmara, Eritrea in 1886 and flew for Italy during the First World War. He moved to Italy with Lt. Colonel Attilo Mondello in 1891 after Eritrea became Italy’s Colonia Primogenita (First-born colony).