From this date, all P--47 training for French pilots from detachments four through eight was conducted at OAAF. Oscoda Army Air Field, which had always been a sub-base (or auxiliary field) of Selfridge Field, was, for the first time in its existence, declared an independent airfield on July 12, three days before the first French pilots arrived.
With the arrival of the French airmen and the enlisted personnel from Blackstone AAF, the number of personnel assigned to OAAF jumped from approximately 220 men on July 1, to nearly 1000 men by July 31.
Some American pilots assigned as flight instructors were members of the support staff at OAAF. Other instructors were stationed at Selfridge Field and were transferred to Oscoda for brief intervals.
In addition to the Lake Huron target area, a fifteen mile by fifteen mile danger zone was located just to the north and west of the Oscoda airfield; aircraft attacking ground targets at the west edge of the OAAF airfield would maneuver in this area.
Robert Dean, a white enlisted man who was assigned to OAAF in 1943 as a surgical technician, recalled several incidents in which the black officers and enlisted men were hospitalized for injuries or illnesses.
An African-American enlisted man assigned to OAAF, Elvin E.