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Soaring to Glory: A Tuskegee Airman's Firsthand Account of World War II (Hardcover)
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"This book is a masterpiece. It captures the essence of the Tuskegee Airmen's experience from the perspective of one who lived it. The action sequences make me feel I'm back in the cockpit of my P-51C 'Kitten'! If you want to know what it was like fighting German interceptors in European skies while winning equal opportunity at home, be sure to read this book!" —Colonel Charles E. McGee, USAF (ret.) former president, Tuskegee Airmen Inc.
“All Americans owe Harry Stewart Jr. and his fellow airmen a huge debt for defending our country during World War II. In addition, they have inspired generations of African American youth to follow their dreams.” —Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University
He had to sit in a segregated rail car on the journey to Army basic training in Mississippi in 1943. But two years later, the twenty-year-old African American from New York was at the controls of a P-51, prowling for Luftwaffe aircraft at five thousand feet over the Austrian countryside. By the end of World War II, he had done something that nobody could take away from him:
He had become an American hero.
This is the remarkable true story of Lt. Col. Harry Stewart Jr., one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen pilots who experienced air combat during World War II. Award-winning aviation writer Philip Handleman recreates the harrowing action and heart-pounding drama of Stewart’s combat missions, including the legendary mission in which Stewart downed three enemy fighters.
Soaring to Glory also reveals the cruel injustices Stewart and his fellow Tuskegee Airmen faced during their wartime service and upon return home after the war. Stewart’s heroism was not celebrated as it should have been in postwar America—but now, his boundless courage and determination will never be forgotten.
About the Author
PHILIP HANDLEMAN is the author of twenty-three aviation books and recipient of awards for his contributions to aviation, including the Lifetime Distinguished Achievement Award from the Tuskegee Airmen National Museum. Mr. Handleman is a longtime pilot who flies antique aircraft out of his private airport. He belongs to more than 30 aviation organizations.
LIEUTENANT COLONEL HARRY T. STEWART JR., USAF (ret.) flew forty-three combat missions as a Tuskegee Airman in World War II. For his flying prowess with the famed 332nd Fighter Group, popularly known as the Red Tails, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
“All Americans owe Harry Stewart Jr. and his fellow airmen a huge debt for defending our country during World War II. In addition, they have inspired generations of African American youth to follow their dreams.”
— Henry Louis Gates Jr.
“In Soaring to Glory, my friend Harry Stewart’s extraordinary life is beautifully told by another
friend, Philip Handleman. The struggles of the Tuskegee Airmen and our success against
enormous odds makes for inspiring reading. I strongly recommend this book for anyone
who wants to know more about the pioneering flyers who broke barriers and changed the
— Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Jefferson,
“It is marvelous when a fascinating, well-written book turns out to be socially important as
well. Soaring to Glory is exactly that, and arrives at a time when its message is badly needed by
the nation. This is a book that can be recommended for a wide variety of reasons, the most
important of which is the standard it sets for aviation literature.”
— Walter J. Boyne
“Starting in the early 1940s, Tuskegee Institute was at the forefront of helping prepare young
African-American pilots to fight for freedom in the skies. Harry Stewart is one of those
aspiring aviators who came to our campus as a first step in earning their wings, and then
went on to become proudly identified as a Tuskegee Airman. His story of serving our
country and overcoming obstacles—not to mention the legacy the Tuskegee Airmen leave us
with—is an inspiration for us all.”
— Lily D. McNair
“This book is a masterpiece. It captures the essence of the Tuskegee Airmen’s experience
from the perspective of one who lived it. The action sequences make me feel I’m back in the
cockpit of my P-51C ‘Kitten’! If you want to know what it was like fighting German
interceptors in European skies while winning equal opportunity at home, be sure to read this
— Colonel Charles E. McGee,
"[Soaring to Glory] tells about the struggle and the greatness of the Tuskegee airmen. If you really want to know what they accomplished and how they did it, this is the book to read. Not just black Americans, but all Americans need to know this story."
— Tony Dungy