By Airman 1st Class Keith Holcomb, 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 07, 2018
Retired Col. Carlyle “Smitty” Harris speaks to media and a nearby crowd in Feb. 1973. He did not realize his wife was within a few steps of him during the address, but saw her later along with the rest of his family. (Courtesy photo)
Retired Col. Carlisle “Smitty” Harris talks with retired Lt. Col. Richard “Gene” Smith at the street named in honor of Colonel Harris in 2007 on Thursday Feb. 11. Colonel Harris, now residing in Tupelo, Miss., was a POW in Vietnam for nearly eight years and is credited for improvising the “Tap Code” while held in captivity. Lt Col Smith, residing in West Point, Miss., was a POW in Vietnam for five and a half years and the wing ceremonial plaza is named in his honor. Feb 12 marked the 37th anniversary of Colonel Harris’ repatriation. Both former POW’s visited Columbus AFB to participate in the Maj/Lt Col promotion party at the Columbus Club. (U.S. Air Force photo/SrA Jacob Corbin)
Carlyle Harris Street, formerly “D Street”, was named after Carlyle “Smitty” Harris,
a United States Air Force Pilot. Harris was a Prisoner of War in Vietnam for nearly
eight years before being rescued. After a short recovery period, he continued his
Air Force career attaining the rank of colonel when he retired.
Prisoners of war are marched in a Vietnamese prison camp during the Vietnam War. One prisoner, retired Col. Carlyle “Smitty” Harris was shot down April 4, 1965, during a bombing run targeting the Thanh Hoa Bridge. (Courtesy photo)
(Ret.) Col. Carlyle "Smitty" Harris, his wife Louise, and Col. John Nichols, 14th Flying Training Wing Commander, pause for a photo at South restaurant in Tupelo, Mississippi Aug. 4. Harris was one of the original creators of the TAP code, which was used to communicate to the other prisoners in the solitary confinement.
Retired Col. Carlyle “Smitty” Harris, Vietnam F-105 pilot and former POW, speak to attendees during 69th Air Force Birthday Ball Sept. 17 at the Trotter Convention Center in Columbus, Mississippi. On April 4, 1965, while on a combat mission, Harris’ F-105 aircraft was hit and he was forced to bail out over enemy territory. He was captured immediately and spent the next eight years as a POW in various prisons where he was confined, mistreated, and tortured. He is credited with introducing the tap code to POW’s so that they could communicate between cells. (U.S. Air Force photo by Richard Johnson)
Captain Josh Higgins, 41st Flying Training Squadron Instructor Pilot, briefs Col. Carlyle "Smitty" Harris before his T-6 flight June 6. Colonel Harris was the keynote speaker for the graduation for Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training class 08-10. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sonic Johnson)