George E. Hardy

Class 44-H-SE 9/8/1944 2nd Lt. 0838029 Philadelphia, PA

George Hardy entered active duty in July of 1943. He began Aviation Cadet Training at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama in December of that year, and graduated as a pilot in September 1944. He received additional combat flight training at Walterboro Army Air Field in South Carolina, and in March 1945 was assigned to the 99th Fighter Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group in Italy. He flew 21 combat missions over Germany.

Following his return from overseas in August 1945, he served at Tuskegee Army Air Field and at Lockbourne Army Air Field in Ohio, and was discharged in November 1946. Hardy was recalled to active duty at Lockbourne Air Force Base in June 1948, and was assigned to the 301st Fighter Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group.

In September 1948 he was assigned as a student in the Airborne Electronics Maintenance Officers School at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi, and in September 1949 was transferred as a Maintenance Officer to the 28th Bomb Squadron of the 19th Bomb Group that flew B-29s in Guam. In 1950, he flew 45 combat missions over Korea in B-29 aircraft.

From 1951 through 1962, Hardy served in various Armament & Electronics Maintenance Squadrons in the Strategic Air Command and in Japan as Maintenance Officer and as Squadron Commander. He received his Command Pilot rating in 1959.

In 1970, Hardy was transferred to the 18th Special Operations Squadron in Vietnam as a pilot in AC-119K Gunships. He served as Operating Location Commander at Udorn Air Base in Thailand and also at Danang Air Base in Vietnam, and flew 70 combat missions. After returning from Vietnam in April 1971, he retired from the Air Force in November with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with 11 Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster.