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Episode 9: Get Me Airborne | American Veteran: Unforgettable Stories Podcast | PBS

Harold Brown earned his wings as a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first Black aviators in the United States armed services. At the outset of his distinguished, two-decade-long career in the military, Brown flew for this ground-breaking World War II unit. On his 30th mission, his P-51 Mustang was shot down. He survived as a prisoner of war in Germany until liberation. Brown recognized the irony that the first time he experienced integrated living was in a POW camp.

Brown’s story is the ninth and final episode in a new podcast series, American Veteran: Unforgettable Stories.

In war and in peace, what veterans have done in America’s name is woven into the fabric of the American story. The new PBS series, American Veteran, illuminates their experiences with a stunning range of veterans’ voices, presented in a primetime television series; a collection of digital shorts on YouTube, American Veteran: Keep It Close; and a new 9-part podcast, American Veteran: Unforgettable Stories.

Each episode of the podcast revolves around the direct testimony of a single veteran – from a Coast Guard gunner’s mate who manned a landing craft at Omaha Beach on D-Day, to an Army nurse in Vietnam who struggled to do her part, to a satellite technician who served as a gay man during the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell era. This collection of riveting first-person stories provides a compelling portrait of the veteran experience over multiple generations.

The series is hosted by Phil Klay, a Marine Corps veteran featured in the American Veteran television series and author of the National Book Award-winning collection of short stories, “Redeployment.”

American Veteran: Unforgettable Stories is a production of Insignia Films and PRX for GBH.

For more powerful memories from veterans, visit, where you can also watch the American Veteran television series and digital short films. Learn more by using #AmericanVeteranPBS.

Funding for American Veteran: Unforgettable Stories is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, with additional funding from The Wexner Family Charitable Fund, Battelle Memorial Institute, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Analog Devices.

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