On April 3, 2021, the man considered to be the oldest living retired air force general in the world celebrated his 107th birthday.
Lt Gen Harry Goldsworthy celebrated with The Patriots motocycle group and a presentation of colors by the Blue Eagle Total Force Honor Guard from March Air Force Base.
He received accolades from March Air Force Base, March Field Air Museum, March Joint Powers Authority, California State Senator Richard Roth, Mayor Patricia Lock-Dawson, and others. Goldsworthy himself delivered a humorous speech.
The celebration concluded with a flag salute by The Patriots, a round of “Happy Birthday,” a presentation of an American Flag Plaque and a flyover by five aircraft.
Afterwards, Goldsworthy went for a ride on one of the motorcycles.
Goldsworthy was born in Spokane, Washington, and joined the Army in 1936 after a friend in college talked him into it.
He was accepted for flight training in 1939. He was assigned to hunt German U-boats after getting his wings. He patrolled the area around Puerto Rico and Trinidad in a B-18 heavy bomber that had been retrofitted with submarine-detecting radar.
Goldsworthy spent over 2,000 flight hours in those patrols and saw “maybe one” submarine. He dropped depth charges but didn’t get a single hit.
Later, Goldsworthy was assigned to a B-25 Mitchell bomber replacement training unit in South Carolina. From there he was sent to the South Pacific in 1945. He flew seven combat missions out of the Philippines and several patrol flights.
On his last flight, the B-25 he was flying was hit by fire from the ground. He and his crew were forced to bail out. They were separated across the island. Goldsworthy was found by Philippinos who were working with the US armed forces.
Just a few days later, the US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki which effectively ended the war.
He served at the Itami Air Base in Japan as part of the occupation and then flew B-29 Superfortresses and B-36 Peacemakers stateside.
Goldsworthy was made the commander of the 11th Bombardment Group at Carswell Air Force Base in Texas in 1948, one year after the Air Force was made a separate service from the Army.
In 1949, Goldsworthy was transferred to the new weapons system evaluation group at the Pentagon.
In 1960, he was put in charge of building an intercontinental ballistic missile site and getting it running in only two years. Goldsworthy said they were building the silos before the missiles had even been test fired.
They had the first silo completed in 1961 and all 150 sites were operational in 1963.
In 1963, he returned to the Pentagon as the director of production and programming for the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff of systems and logistics. In 1969 he was assigned to be the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for systems and logistics.
In between, he worked at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, testing new aircraft like the Century Series aircraft – the F-100 Super Sabre, the F-102 Delta Dagger, and the F-105 Thunderchief. He also tested the B-47 Stratojet (his personal favorite) and the B-52 Stratofotress.
His favorite assignment was Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. There he was the commander of the Aeronautical Systems Division. He drew up the specifications for the F-15 Eagle fighter jet.
In his career, Goldsworthy flew over 30 different aircraft. He received the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit and the Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters.
After retiring from the Air Force, Goldsworthy worked as a consultant for Boeing in Seattle.
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He still lives in the home he lived in with his wife, Edith. She passed away in 2010.