Tuskegee Airman Lands At Tri-C Western Campus For Veterans Day Program On Nov. 9

Trailblazing fighter pilot Harold Brown flew 30 missions during World War II before the Nazis shot his P-51 Mustang out of the sky in May 1944. The Tuskegee Airman lived to tell his story.

On Thursday, Nov. 9, he will share those memories during a Veterans Day observance at the Western Campus of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C). Brown is scheduled to speak at 11 a.m. in the Galleria at Western Campus, located at 11000 Pleasant Valley Road in Parma. His presentation will follow a 10:30 a.m. remembrance ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Garden.  “Veterans Day provides an opportunity to pay tribute to the brave men and women who have defended this nation,” said Rick DeChant, executive director of the College’s Veterans Initiative. “Harold Brown is one of those inspiring heroes, and we’re honored to welcome him to Tri-C.”

Brown served as a colonel in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, flying in the 332nd Fighter Group. The nation’s first African-American military pilots — the famed Tuskegee Airmen — manned the squadron’s planes. The Tuskegee Airmen overcame segregation and prejudice to become one of the most highly respected fighter groups of World War II. Their achievements paved the way for full integration of the U.S. military. Brown logged 30 missions as a bomber-escort fighter pilot before being shot down and captured. U.S. forces liberated him from a prisoner-of-war camp in 1945. He continued to serve in the military following World War II. Brown spent more than two decades on active duty and held a post at Strategic Air Command during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1965 as a lieutenant colonel. 

Brown built a new career in higher education after turning in his uniform. He started as an instructor and — after earning a master’s degree and doctorate — climbed the ranks to become vice president of academic affairs at Columbus State Community College. 

The 93-year-old veteran now lives in Port Clinton. He penned an autobiography — Keep Your Airspeed Up: The Story of a Tuskegee Airman — published earlier this year by the University of Alabama Press. A book signing will follow the program.

Tri-C serves thousands of Northeast Ohio veterans every year through its Veterans Initiative. For more information on programs and services, visit www.tri-c.edu/veterans

John Horton

Media Relations Manager at Cuyahoga Community College

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 4:48 PM, 11.01.2017