Princess Cruises Celebrates Tuskegee Airman’s 100th Birthday

Princess Cruises welcomed retired United States Army Air Corps and Air Force officer Lieutenant Colonel James H. Harvey III onboard Discovery Princess in Seattle for his 100th birthday celebration yesterday. As one of the few surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen, Harvey overcame racial segregation in the military, while serving alongside the country’s first African American Army Air Corps pilots during World War II.

The McChord Field Honor Guard greeted Harvey and his family aboard, performing a USAF traditional display of presenting colors. The Discovery Princess crew also joined in on the festivities, presenting Harvey with a birthday cake to wish him a happy birthday. Harvey will be traveling on Discovery Princess for a celebratory cruise to Alaska.

“It’s our sincere honor to celebrate the 100th birthday of Lieutenant Colonel Harvey III, a trailblazer, hero, and real ‘Top Gun,'” said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president. “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!”


More About James H. Harvey III

  • Hailing from Montclair, New Jersey, Harvey was born on July 13, 1923. 
  • As a former fighter pilot, he served with the 332nd Fighter Group 99th Squadron, better known as the Tuskegee Airmen. 
  • In addition, he is the first African American fighter pilot to fight in the Korean War, where he flew 140 missions from 1949-1950. 
  • Along with every member of the Tuskegee Airmen, Harvey received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2006.

After 22 combined years of service in the Army Air Corps and Air Force, Harvey retired to become a corporate salesman for Oscar Mayer and settled with his family in Denver, Colorado, where he still lives today.

On the voyage, Harvey will share insights and experiences from his service with guests as part of a scheduled series of onboard discussions. 

Discovery Princess will be sailing from Seattle to Alaska, departing every Sunday through September.

Will you be sailing on Discovery Princess? Let us know in the comments!

By Ethan Leckie