A Tuskegee Airman’s bravery is being rewarded in a big way.
James Harvey III, who is 100 years old, was recently promoted to Colonel during halftime of the Air Force vs. Army game on Nov. 4.
Harvey, who turned 100 years of age in July, is among the few World War II Tuskegee Airmen still surviving today.
“Because of his work breaking barriers, I can stand here today as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” said Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., who was the Black service Chief in U.S. history. “James, I want to thank you for your service. I want to thank you for breaking barriers, and it’s my distinct honor to promote you to colonel today.”
“It was a magnificent honor to watch thousands of Airmen, Guardians, and Soldiers cheer on Colonel Harvey when our Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. C.Q. Brown, promoted him from being the Air Force’s oldest lieutenant colonel to the newest colonel in the U.S. Air Force,” said AFA’s Executive Vice President Maj. Gen. Doug Raaberg, USAF (Ret.). “The Air & Space Forces Association is proud to ‘issue’ him a uniform fitting of his senior rank and stature as a Tuskegee Airman, combat fighter pilot, and leader.”
The promotion comes years after the Tuskegee Airmen endured racism, unfair treatment and segregation even after they fought for their country.
“Instead of being greeted with a hero’s welcome, the Tuskegee Airmen were segregated as soon as they disembarked the ships that brought them home,” CAF RISE ABOVE Squadron writes.
It continues: “The Tuskegee Airmen continued their fight for social justice, alongside all black Americans, into the 1960s and beyond, but their performance in World War II contributed significantly to the desegregation of the U.S. Armed Forces.”