South Philadelphia Salutes Alumnus Who Served In 3 Wars
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By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – South Philadelphia High School alumni welcomed a former Tuskegee airman into its Hall of Fame Sunday.
George Hardy didn’t sing at the Met, or appear on American bandstand, but he flew more than 100 combat missions, serving in three wars, and breaking the Air Force color barrier as the first African American assigned to the B-29 group on Guam in 1949.
“After that, I was in integrated units and some people didn’t agree with that, and I worked for a couple of people like that afterward, but you had to get over that,” Hardy said.
Colonel Hardy graduated South Philadelphia in 1942 and rarely got back once he joined the air force. But he says he has fond memories:
“I always thought about South Philadelphia High school because I got such a grounding in math there, but the course I really enjoyed was Latin, but I never found anyone who spoke Latin.”
Hardy won the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, two Presidential Unit Citations, and now, the South Philadelphia High School Hall of Fame.