In travel news for May 23rd , 2023 we talk about the 100th birthday celebration of a decorated member of the Tuskegee Airmen.
In an unprecedented display of honor and patriotism, Princess Cruises played host to a special event recently, paying tribute to one of the few remaining Tuskegee Airmen. The occasion was an early celebration of his centenary and a unique chance for guests on the Discovery Princess in Seattle to witness living history before the ship set sail for an awe-inspiring journey to Alaska. This was a voyage not only through the breathtaking Alaskan landscape but also a journey back in time, revisiting the extraordinary life of a military trailblazer.
Lieutenant Colonel James H. Harvey III, a distinguished veteran from the United States Army Air Corps and Air Force (USAF), set new precedents as part of a group of African American pilots during World War II. Their tenacity, bravery, and unwavering commitment to their duty have left an indelible mark on American history. Lt Col Harvey, along with his fellow Tuskegee Airmen, is a shining example of this relentless pursuit of excellence and equality, showing us all what it truly means to serve your country.
The celebration of Harvey’s milestone birthday was filled with pageantry and reverence, with the McChord Field Honor Guard presenting colors in a traditional USAF ceremony. The revelry reached its zenith when the Discovery Princess crew unveiled a birthday cake for the honored guest, leading the ship's company in a heartfelt birthday wish.
Princess Cruises, in its role as host, underscored the significance of this occasion. It is a great honor to pay tribute to a living legend like Lieutenant Colonel Harvey III, a true American hero. His life is a testament to courage, resilience, and the unwavering American spirit. Princess Cruises joins countless others in saluting this remarkable man on his 100th birthday.
Born in Montclair, New Jersey on July 13, 1923, Harvey's achievements as a fighter pilot with the 332nd Fighter Groups 99th Squadron, famously known as the Tuskegee Airmen or "Red Tails," are legendary. His combat service extended beyond World War II into the Korean War, where he became the first African American USAF jet fighter combat pilot. His dedication and valor earned him and the Tuskegee Airmen the Congressional Gold Medal in 2006, one of the highest civilian honors.
Moreover, Harvey was the champion of the inaugural “Top Gun” competition in 1949. His successful leadership in a demanding 10-day event, featuring a wide range of aerial skills, further solidified his place in military history. After 22 years of distinguished service (1943-1965) in the United States Army Air Corps and the United States Air Force, Harvey transitioned to a corporate role with Oscar Mayer and moved to Denver, where he currently resides.
This extraordinary celebration on Princess Cruises serves as a fitting tribute to a living legend. Guests who joined this historic voyage not only embarked on a journey of magnificent natural beauty but also participated in an event honoring an individual whose life story is woven into the rich tapestry of American history. As a trailblazer in the skies, Lt Col Harvey’s legacy continues to inspire all who learn of his service and sacrifice.