Western Pennsylvania All Service Academies' Ball
LtCol Hardy - Tuskegee Airman
George Hardy of Sarasota, Fla. was a Tuskegee Airman
The retired lieutenant colonel began his military career as a member of
the all-black 99th Fighter Squadron, flying 21 combat missions over
Germany during the final two
months before V-E Day in World War II in a P-51 “Mustang” fighter plane.
By the time he completed his 28-year military career, Hardy had not
only flown a fighter in the Second World War, he had flown 45
additional combat missions as co-pilot of a B-29 “Superfortress” bomber
during the Korean War and finished up flying 70 more missions as the
pilot of a AC-119 “Stinger” Gunship in Vietnam.
He has been on the cutting edge
of the integration battle in this country for most of his 84 years.
After graduating from a Philadelphia high school at 17 in 1942, Hardy
joined the U.S. Army and immediately qualified for cadet training at
the all-black Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.
Dr. Eugene J. Richardson, Jr. Pilot, class 45A
Eugene J. Richardson Jr. was born on September 18, 1925, in
Cleveland, Ohio. His early education took place primarily in Toledo,
Ohio. Dr. Richardson served in the Army Air Corps during WWII. He was a
member of the group that became known as the TUSKEGEE AIRMEN. Eugene was
living in Camden, NJ., when he earned the status of Pre Aviation Cadet
in the Army Air Corps. He entered active duty in October 1943, at
Keesler Field, Mississipi for basic military training. In February, 1944
Eugene went to Tuskegee, Alabama for pilot training and subsequently
received his pilot's wings and officer's commission on March 11, 1945,
with class 45A.
Richardson served in the armed forces as a Tuskegee Airman before returning to civilian life in Philadelphia and enrolling in Temple University
on the GI Bill. He landed in the field of
education where he would eventually serve as an assistant principal and
as a principal.
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