While American black people were still being treated as slaves or worse, Ottoman Muslim Air Forces member Ahmet Ali Efendi was the first black pilot of the world. He participated in a lot of air missions.
“Ottoman Air Forces, Ahmet Ali Efendi was known to be the first black pilot in the world”
OTTOMAN PILOT AHMET ALI EFFENDI
WORLD’S FIRST BLACK PILOT, 1916
Ahmet Ali Effendi (Ahmet Ali Çelikten) was an Ottoman aviator who may have been the first black military pilot in aviation history. Ahmet born in 1883 in İzmir to his mother Zenciye Emine Hanım and father Ali Bey, of African Turkish descent. (His grandmother and grandfather are from Nigeria) He aimed to become a naval sailor and entered the Naval Technical School named Haddehâne Mektebi (literally “School of the Blooming Mill”) in 1904. In 1908, he graduated from school as a First Lieutenant (Mülâzım-ı evvel). And then he went to aviation courses in the Naval Flight School (Deniz Tayyare Mektebi) that was formed on 25 June 1914 at Yeşilköy. He was then a member of the Ottoman Air Force.
During World War I, he married Hatice Hanım who was an immigrant from Preveza. He became first black military pilot in aviation history when he started serving in November 1916. On 18 December 1917, Captain (Yüzbaşı) Ahmed Ali was sent to Berlin to complete aviation courses. He died in 1969.