U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – Lt. Col. (ret) Oscar Fitzhenry, a World War II pilot who flew 64 combat missions in a B-24 Liberator, will unveil a painting at the Air Force Academy Oct. 22.
The painting, entitled “The Raid”, depicts a combat mission flown by a squadron of Liberators in the Pacific Theater of Operations.
During his service in the Solomon Islands, Colonel Fitzhenry flew several important passengers, including Lt. Gen. Hubert H. Harmon, who later became the first Superintendent of the Academy. He also flew Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and General Henry H. Arnold, Chief of Staff of the Army Air Forces.
After returning to the U.S. from the war, the colonel flew the B-36 Peacemaker, and on July 11, 1955, he piloted the long-range bomber in a flyover of the brand new United States Air Force Academy at its official inauguration.
Colonel Fitzhenry retired from the Air Force after 20 years of honorable service, and continues to share his war experiences with several schools and colleges.