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The Air Force's oldest living general says Wright-Patterson was his favorite assignment

An undated photo of Lt. Gen. Harry Goldsworthy, during an Air Force career from which he retired in 1973.

By THOMAS GNAU | Dayton Daily News, Ohio | Published: April 23, 2021

DAYTON, Ohio (Tribune News Service) — On April 3, Lt. Gen. Harry Goldsworthy, the man considered to be the oldest living retired air force general in the world, celebrated his 107th birthday.

In a career that spanned some 34 years, from 1939, when Goldsworthy was accepted for flight training with the Army Air Corps, to retirement in 1973, what was his favorite assignment?

According to an account by WarHistoryOnline.com, it was Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. There, he commanded the Aeronautical Systems Division, where he helped draw up specifications for the F-15 Eagle fighter.

"In his career, Goldsworthy flew over 30 different aircraft," the web site in a recent piece on Goldsworthy. "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.

According to his official Air Force bio, his first assignment after graduation from flying school at Kelly Field, Texas, in 1940 was Langley Field, Va., with what the newly activated 25th Bombardment Group.

The group was transferred to Borinquen Field, Puerto Rico in late 1940, where he was stationed at the start of World War II. He flew submarine patrol in the Puerto Rico and Trinidad area until 1943 when he was reassigned to a B-25 replacement training unit at Columbia, S.C.

In July 1945 he went to the Southwest Pacific area and joined the 42d Bombardment Group. When the war ended, he was in the Philippine Islands as group commander, according to the Air Force.

Goldsworthy was part of a team that formed what was known as a site activation task force, or SATAF, under the Ballistic Missiles Center of Air Materiel Command, today known as the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., according to a military.com story.

He still lives in the home he shared with his wife, Edith, who died in 2010.

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