Abdulaziz Medal Awarded to Mr. Joseph W. Grant

January 28, 2009

[Washington, DC] -- Today, Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to the United States, Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, presented the King Abdulaziz Medal - First Class to Mr. Joseph W. Grant, a U.S. World War II pilot, on behalf of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud at the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia.

Joe Grant, 100 years old, is the pilot who in 1945 flew a Douglas-DC3 aircraft to Saudi Arabia to be delivered as a gift to King Abdulaziz from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, following their historic meeting onboard the U.S.S. Quincy on February 14, 1945. Subsequently, Captain Grant served two years in the Kingdom as the first airline pilot to King Abdulaziz, founder of the modern Saudi state. Captain Grant was also instrumental in the establishment of Saudi Arabia's first national airline and the training of its pilots.

"Mr. Grant's contributions to helping foster Saudi-U.S. relations are deeply appreciated to this day," said Ambassador Al-Jubeir. "We are pleased to honor such a longstanding friend and wish him happiness and continued good health."

The King Abdulaziz Medal is awarded in recognition of significant contributions made by an individual to the Kingdom.