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Tuskegee Airmen to discuss integration of the Air Force

DAYTON, Ohio -- Tuskegee Airmen exhibit in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Tuskegee Airmen exhibit in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Two men who served with the famed Tuskegee Airmen will discuss the Air Force between 1941 and 1949 during a lecture at 7:30 p.m. on April 26 at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

Lt. Col. (Ret.) James Harvey III and Lt. Col. (Ret.) Harry Stewart will present "Integration of the Air Force: The Early Years" as part of the museum's "Wings & Things" Guest Lecture Series.

Harvey received his commission as a second lieutenant in the Army Air Corps after completion of Aviation Cadet Training in October 1944 at Tuskegee. He served in Japan and Korea from 1949 until 1951 and in Newfoundland from 1956 until 1959. During his military career, he was one of the primary members of 332nd Fighter Gunnery Team that won the USAF Fighter Gunnery Meet (William Tell) at Las Vegas Air Force Base, Nev., in May 1949. Harvey was the first black jet fighter pilot to fly missions over Korea, and he flew 126 combat missions in support of the ground troops. His decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 10 Oak Leaf Clusters, Distinguished Unit Citation with 10 Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Good Conduct Medal.

After retiring from the USAF in 1965, Harvey joined Oscar Mayer as a salesman. He became the first black center manager with the company. Today he lives in Denver with his wife, Pearlie.

Stewart enlisted in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He trained at Army Air Field, Ala., where he completed his flight training at age 19. He was awarded his pilot wings and commissioned as a second lieutenant. After further training in the P-47D, he was sent overseas and assigned to the 332nd Fighter Group in Italy as a P-51 pilot. Upon his return to the United States, Stewart continued his fighter pilot duties flying the P-47N series aircraft until he was discharged in 1950. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with Six Oak Leaf Clusters. Stewart was also co-winner of the 1949 USAF Gunnery Meet.

After his discharge, Stewart received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from New York University. He maintained his Reserve affiliation and retired as a lieutenant colonel. Today he lives in Bloomfield, Mich., with his wife, Delphine.

The lecture will take place in Carney Auditorium, and museum doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more information or special seating arrangements, contact the museum's Special Events Division at (937) 255-8046, ext. 312. Filming or videotaping the lecture is prohibited.

The National Museum of the United States Air Force is located on Springfield Pike, six miles northeast of downtown Dayton. It is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day). Admission and parking are free.


NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, contact the National Museum of the United States Air Force Public Affairs Division at (937) 255-4704, ext. 333.

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