After being denied Captain’s Wings, a Tuskegee Airman is finally getting his dues. Harry Stewart tried to get a job as an airline pilot twice in 1949 all because he was black. Stewart was a fighter pilot during World War II with the legendary 332d Fighter Group, who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross Medal but wasn’t able to get the job he was qualified to retain due to his race. Stewart told WDIV, he was informed,
I would certainly not inspire the confidence of passengers as I walked down the aisle.
Decades later, Delta Airlines, which had nothing to do with denying Stewart a job, along with members of the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals hosted a Black History Month program on Feb. 18, honoring Stewart. The airlines made the retired Lt. Col, an honorary Delta’s captain.
The 90-year old who was still flying up until three years ago (WOW!) told reporters the moral of the story is,
Don’t give up, persevere. Don’t let failure or hurt feelings gnaw at you and waste your energy.