George E. Hardy, Lt. Colonel, USAF (Ret.)

George Hardy_New England Chapter, TAI

George E. Hardy, Lt. Colonel, USAF (Ret.)

George E. Hardy, Lt. Colonel, USAF (Ret.)

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 AAF, SC 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 AFB, 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 1964, following the receipt of a graduate engineering degree, he was assigned to the Electronics Systems Division at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts. In August 1966, Hardy was assigned as Chief of Engineering and Program Manager for Development, Installation and Cutover of the 490L Overseas AUTOVON Communications System, the overseas portion of the Department of Defense’s first worldwide direct-dial telephone system. The initial sites were successfully cutover in Europe, Panama and in the Pacific in 1969.

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 1971 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.