On December 4, 1950, Lt. Thomas J. Hudner Jr. was flying a ground support mission in his F4U Corsair as the wingman to Ensign Jesse L. Brown, the Navy's first African-American aviator. These two aviators - one white, the other black - came from vastly different backgrounds and experiences, but both shared a common mission - supporting American Marines and Soldiers conducting a fighting retreat from the Chosin Reservoir. Suddenly, enemy fire struck Brown's Corsair, and his plane crashed into a mountain in the bitter cold of the North Korean winter.
Hudner reacted quickly. Seeing Brown was alive, but trapped in his damaged plane, Hudner crash-landed his own plane on the snow covered mountain in a brave effort to rescue Brown. Risking capture by enemy forces, Hudner aided Brown, packing snow into the fuselage of the burning aircraft with his bare hands.
In a time when racial segregation and tensions were high, Hudner selflessly risked his life to aid another and in so doing, earned our nation's highest award for valor - the Medal of Honor.
The Pritzker Military Library is proud to feature Hudner, who retired from the Navy as a Captain after completing a 24-year career, then served as Massachusetts Commissioner for Veterans Affairs. The Medal of Honor Series with Ed Tracy, continues on Thursday, February 22, 2007, at 5:00 p.m. with an associate members-only reception in the Gallery, which currently features "The Art of Arthur Ross Exhibition." The program and live web cast
DVD 2007-02-22: Medal of Honor with Ed Tracy
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