Ahmet Ali-Çelikten, The First Black Pilot In History Was From Nigeria [Photos]

Ahmet Ali Çelikten born İzmirli Alioğlu Ahmed (1883–1969), also known as Arap Ahmet Ali or İzmirli Ahmet Ali was an Ottoman aviator who may have been the first black pilot in aviation history and was one of the few black pilots in World War I, like Eugene Jacques Bullard. His grandmother came from Bornu (now in Nigeria) to the Ottoman Empire as a slave.


Ahmet born in 1883 in İzmir, in the Aidin Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire to his mother Zenciye Emine Hanım and father Ali Bey, of African Turkish descent. He aimed to become a naval sailor and entered the Naval Technical School named Haddehâne Mektebi (literally “School of the Blooming Mill”wink 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 (1897–1991) 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.

Source: Wikipedia

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