Colonel (Ret.) Harry Canham began his military career as a glider pilot in 1942 as part of the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. Highly successful after only a few missions, he was assigned a new aircraft -- the Martin B-26 Marauder, stationed in North Africa. After World War II, Canham also piloted an AC-130 Gunship. During the Vietnam War he was presented with his first Distinguished Flying Cross. While on a night reconnaissance mission, Jan. 16, 1972, he destroyed 12 hostile supply vehicles and ignited numerous secondary fires and explosions. Facing 22 rounds of hostile anti-aircraft fire, he put aside his personal safety and succeeded in destroying large caches of supplies and munitions destined for use against friendly forces.
Over the course of 32 years, Canham piloted more than 40 aircraft, recorded more than 22,000 flight hours and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross five times.