Harry E. Goldsworthy turns 107 on April 13 and is believed to be the world’s oldest living general of the Air Force.
He served a total of 35 years – 33 in the Air Force and 2 in the Army Infantry Reserve, primarily as a pilot.
‘I love flying, and I have to fly a lot of different planes, and I enjoyed it. But I enjoyed the camaraderie of the military. I enjoyed the glory, ”Goldsworthy told NTD Television.
Goldsworthy was born in Spokane, Washington in 1914 and grew up on a farm. He studied at Washington State with a reserved commission in the Army Infantry. He continued his flight training and graduated in 1940 as a second lieutenant in the Air Corps.
Goldsworthy recalls flying long, tiring missions across the sea at night during World War II. He was first stationed in Puerto Rico and later moved to many countries.
At his last station in the Philippines, the military called and said they were being held on a river on the island of Luzon. So they fought.
‘There were just a bunch of firearms, and my plane was damaged, and we had a parachute for the plane, for the crew and me, and we were picked up by Filipino scouts who were members of the Philippine army and went through. the jungle to safety. “It was one experience I remember,” Goldsworthy said.
He also had the opportunity to speak with Chiang Kai-shek in Taiwan. He remembers it vividly.
“He was very interested in some of the planes we designed and built, and I had a very pleasant conversation,” he said. ‘The thing I remember is that he did not like air conditioning. And so I was in a full military uniform and it was very hot, and he was in his uniform with a high collar and looked as cool as it could be. ‘
Goldsworthy has flown about 30 different aircraft, ranging from twin-aircraft to supersonic jets of different models. He even built missile sites for the Minuteman program, the first wing between the continental ballistic missiles.
‘People were not confident that we would be able to do it, and we did it ahead of time, and it was a very satisfying project for me. “I had the Corps of Engineers, four different contractors I had to coordinate with, and it was the most successful program,” he said.
It promoted him to a one-star general, and he toured the Pentagon three times.
When he retired from the army, he helped his brother run a wheat farm and did a lot of volunteer work. He traveled with his wife and played a lot of golf. They moved to Riverside, California in 1990.
His wife died in 2010, but his four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren keep him company.
‘I have a loving family; [they] are good examples of love, good examples of integrity and honesty. And I tried to pass it on to my children, ‘he said.
Goldsworthy encourages younger generations to love the country and believe it will remain strong.