Henry B. “Herky” Perry, was born the youngest of six children to Reverend Robert N. and Mary A. Jackson Perry of Thomasville, GA. As a young boy, Perry dreamed of one day becoming a pilot. In 1942, he graduated flight training in Class 42-H, Tuskegee Army Air Field. He was included in the initial cadre of pilots to join the 99th Fighter Squadron in Licata, Sicily.
After serving twenty-eight voluntary years in the United States Air Force, Perry was credited with 145 combat missions, two and one half aerial victories and 5, 500 flying hours. After World War II, he was a fighter pilot, Alaskan Air Commander; Commander and Deputy Wing Commander, and Command Staff Operations Officer. Perry later returned to Tuskegee AAF to become Director of Single Engine Advanced Training and Air ROTC instructor at Tuskegee Institute. He reported to Williams Field in Arizona where he became a flight instructor an Director of Training and Analysis. Perry rose to the rank of Colonel and served as Director Combat Operations Center.
Henry Perry was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal with six Oak Leaf Clusters. He also received the Air Force Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Clusters and the Army Commendation Medal.