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Arthur C. Harmon
Born June 26, 1925(1925-06-26) (age 96)
Topeka, Kansas
Died May 10, 2006(2006-05-10) (aged 80)
Marin County, California
Nationality United States of America
Ethnicity African-American
Alma mater George Pepperdine College
Occupation U.S. Army Air Force pilot
Years active 1945-1947, 1951-1968
Known for Member of Tuskegee Airmen

Lt. Col. Arthur C. Harmon (June 26, 1925 – May 10, 2006) was a member of the World War II era African American U.S. Army Air Force contingent known as the Tuskegee Airmen. He was recalled by the military in 1951 and served in the Far East Air Forces and Strategic Air Command.[1]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Tuskegee Airmen - Circa May 1942 to Aug 1943

Early life[edit | edit source]

Harmon was born in Topeka, Kansas on June 26, 1925.[2] Harmon's family subsequently moved to Los Angeles, California, where he grew up.[2] Having aspirations of being a musician, Harmon joined the Musician's Union at the age of 17.[1] However, he also wanted to become a pilot, having grown up building model airplanes and listening to radio broadcasts such as Air Adventures of Jimmie Allen.[2] Harmon enrolled in the pilot training program at the United States Army Air Force Tuskegee Army Air Field class 45-G-TE in 1943.[2][3] He graduated from the program on October 16, 1945 as a 2nd Lieutenant.[3]

Military career[edit | edit source]

Upon graduation from the Tuskegee Army Air Field training program, Harmon was assigned as a pilot to the 477th Bombardment Group in the 617th Bombardment Squadron.[1] The squadron never saw action as the war ended before they could be deployed. The squadron was disbanded on July 1, 1947.[2]

College education[edit | edit source]

Harmon enrolled in George Pepperdine College at the time of his discharge from the service to continue pursuing his interest in music.[1]

Recall to military service[edit | edit source]

Harmon was recalled to active duty in 1951.[1] He was stationed at number of air force bases throughout his career, including Mountain Home AFB, Fairchild AFB near Spokane, Washington, Yokota AB in Japan, Hill AFB, Elmendorf AFB, and Langley AFB.[1] He tours of duty took him to the Strategic Air Command, the Far East Air Forces, the Alaskan Air Command, and the 4500th Air Base Wing where he worked in Major Air Command Aircraft Accident Prevention.[1] He retired from active duty as a Major in 1968.[1] Subsequently, he was promoted to Lt. Colonel when he transitioned to the Air Force Reserve.[1]

Retirement and civic engagement[edit | edit source]

After his retirement from the military, Harmon returned to his interest in music and became a member of Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District Non-Marching Band.[1] He also joined the Retired Officers Association and the Air Force Association.[1] He actively participated in the William "Bill" Campbell Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.[1]

Marriage and children[edit | edit source]

Harmon married Irene Prince in 1953.[1] They had four children:[1]

  • Brett Harmon
  • Kim Harmon
  • Claire Harmon-Hones
  • Bruce Harmon

Death[edit | edit source]

Harmon died on May 10, 2006 at his home in Marin County, California.[1]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Further reading[edit | edit source]

  • Tuskegee Airmen Chronology / Daniel L. Haulman. -- Organizational History Branch, Air Force Historical Research Agency, Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-642424, July 2013

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