Princess Cruises honors surviving Tuskegee Airman Discovery Princess in Seattle as the war hero flew to Alaska to celebrate his 100th birthday.
Tribute to “Top Gun” Tuskegee Airman
Princess Cruises paid tribute to Lieutenant Colonel James H. Harvey III, the surviving Tuskegee Airman, on May 21, 2023, aboard the 145,000-ton ship. Discovery Princess in Seattle.
Discovery Princess It was built by the Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri and launched in March 2021.
When Lieutenant Colonel Harvey III was preparing to start his 100th birthday trip to Alaskathe navy chose to honor this revered war hero with the first commemoration of 100 years of honor and success.
McChord Field Honor Guard warmly welcomed Lt. Parents. Harvey and his family are boarding Discovery Princess. The reception featured a USAF (United States Air Force) uniform.
The crew then presented their special birthday guest with a patriotic looking cake. The ship’s crew also pitched in, helping to remember Lt. Parents. The highlight of Harvey’s century.
“It is our honor to celebrate the 100th birthday of Lieutenant Colonel Harvey III, a great artist, hero, and true ‘Top Gun,'” Princess Cruises President John Padgett said.
“His life and legacy should remind everyone of the power of courage, determination, courage and the American spirit. From all of us at Princess Cruises, we salute Lt. Akolo. Harvey and wish him a happy 100th birthday!” Padgett added, giving thanks.
Harvey, a pioneer Tuskegee Airman, was instrumental in ending segregation in the military. His exemplary service as part of a distinguished group of African American pilots during World War II was unparalleled.
The Tuskegee Airmen
The Tuskegee Airmen were famous American pilots, aid workers, and teachers who served in the US Army Air Corps during WWII.
These flyers and ground crews helped break down long-standing barriers, becoming the first black military pilots in the US military. Although they faced a lot of discrimination, they showed their special skills and courage in fighting with dogs.
The Tuskegee Airmen excelled in various combat roles, such as escorting bombers, as well. They got a good reputation. Many of their actions supported the Civil Rights Movement and pushed the US Army to secede.
The legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen also inspired future generations, showing people how courage and sacrifice can be used to overcome adversity.
Lieutenant Colonel James H. Harvey III
Retired Lieutenant Colonel James H. Harvey III was born on July 13, 1923, in Montclair, New Jersey. He served as a pilot with the famous Tuskegee Airmen’s 99th Squadron, known as the “Red Tails.”
Harvey, one of 1,007 pilots trained during World War II, also became the first African American USAF pilot in the Korean War, completing 140 missions from 1949 to 1950.
Adding to his list of impressive performances and honors, Lieutenant Harvey won the inaugural USAF “Top Gun” competition in 1949. He was, in fact, the original “Maverick”. I’m sorry, Tom Cruise.
While leading his team in the competition, Harvey demonstrated his flying skills in a ten-day event that involved air gunnery, bombing, jumping, rocket firing, and parachuting at altitudes of 20,000 and 12,000 feet.
In 2006, Harvey and his fellow Tuskegee Airmen were honored with the Congressional Gold Medal.
On his journey born in a boat Discovery Princess, Harvey will interact with his fellow guests through a planned discussion, sharing wisdom from his elite military career, filled with stories from his extraordinary life.
The Discovery Princess it is currently slated to sail one-week cruises from Seattle to Alaska every Sunday, through September.