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Lt. Col. Harry T. Stewart Jr., USAF, Retired

Harry Stewart


Lt. Col. Harry T. Stewart Jr. grew up in New York City where, during World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps as an Aviation Cadet. After completing his flight training at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama and while still a teenager- he was awarded his pilot's wings and commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant.

Harry then took combat fighter training in P-47D Thunderbolt at Walterboro Army Air Field IN South Carolina. Afterword, he was sent overseas and assigned to the 332nd Fighter Group in Italy, where he flew 43 bomber escort missions in the P-51 Mustang. When the war ended, Harry returned to the United States and continued his duties as a fighter pilot until his eventual discharge from the service in 1950.

As one of the famous Tuskegee Airmen, Harry was credited with destroying three enemy aircraft in aerial combat and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters. He further distinguished himself as a member of the winning team in the 1949 USAF Gunnery Meet, now popularly known as "top gun."

Upon his discharge from the Air Force, Harry returned to New York City, attended New York University and eventually received a Bachelor's of Mechanical Engineering degree. In his civilian capacity, Harry maintained his Air Force Reserve affiliation and flew mostly P-47N planes until he retired with the rank of Lt. Colonel. Additionally, as a civilian, he also retired as vice president of ANR Pipeline Company, a major interstate natural gas consortium, formerly headquartered in Detroit.

At the time of his enshrinement, Harry still enjoyed flying and frequently flew neighborhood youngsters out of Detroit City Airport in a Schweizer motor glider. He resides in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Harry Stewart was enshrined April 18, 2009 into the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame.

Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program