While my blog often takes on a humorous tone, today’s cruise news from my home port of Seattle promises to tug at your heart strings instead of tickling your funny bone…
Tuskegee Airman Honored Onboard Discovery Princess
Yesterday in Seattle, Princess Cruise Line honored one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen. With a USAF traditional display of presenting colors, the McChord Field Honor Guard welcomed Lieutenant Colonel James H. Harvey III and his family aboard the Discovery Princess, where they will be enjoying a week-long cruise to Alaska to celebrate his upcoming 100th birthday.
Joining in the celebration was the Captain of the Discovery Princess, the entire crew, and Princess Cruises President John Padgett who presented Lieutenant Colonel Harvey with a special cake. Padgett said, “It’s our sincere honor to celebrate the 100th birthday of Lieutenant Colonel Harvey III, a trailblazer, hero, and real ‘Top Gun.’ His life and legacy should remind everyone of the power of courage, determination, resilience and the American spirit. From all of us at Princess Cruises, we salute Lt. Col. Harvey and wish him a very happy 100th birthday!”
Who were the Tuskegee Airman?
The Tuskegee Airman were a group of Black military pilots and airmen who fought in World War II. They served with honor and courage during a time when the U. S. military was still racially segregated and as African Americans were still subject to Jim Crow laws in many states.
About Lieutenant Colonel James H. Harvey III
Lt. Col. Harvey was born New Jersey in 1923. He is a former fighter pilot with the 332nd Fighter Groups 99th Squadron, known as the Tuskegee Airmen “Red Tails,” one of 1,007 documented pilots trained for aerial combat during World War II. He was also the first African American USAF jet fighter combat pilot to fight in the Korean War and flew 140 missions from 1949 to 1950. He received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2006.
Harvey also won the USAF’s very first “Top Gun” competition in 1949, when his team lead a 10-day event comprised of aerial gunnery, dive bombing, skip bombing, rocketing firing, and panel strafing.
After serving 22 years in the United States Army Air Corps and the United States Air Force, Harvey retired and went on to work as a corporate salesman for Oscar Mayer. He and his wife raised four daughters and he currently lives in Denver.
Video Footage of Princess Cruise Line Honoring Tuskegee Airman, Lt. Col. Harvey, Onboard the Discovery Princess in Seattle
Those Onboard with Lt. Col. Harvey are in for a Treat!
Those lucky enough to be on the same Alaskan sailing with Lt. Col. Harvey this week will hear directly from him as part of a scheduled onboard discussion.
Kudos to Princess for honoring a true American hero. We all owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude and I hope he enjoys a spectacular celebratory cruise to Alaska with his family and the many new friends he’s sure to make! And with that…
Homework (10 points): Share your thoughts on this article to the comments. Then read my review of the Discovery Princess HERE.
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