Col. James Harvey’s Wish

Posted on 01/25/23


“We weren’t supposed to be able to fly aircraft, we weren’t supposed to be able to win this competition, but we did and we were the best… Mission accomplished.”

– Lt. Col. James H. Harvey III, age 98

Harvey was a member of the 332nd Fighter Group, better known as the Tuskegee Airmen. In 1949, Harvey and three teammates represented the Tuskegee Airmen in the inaugural Top Gun competition in Las Vegas. Only the finest aviators in the country could compete, and they came together for ten days of challenging airborne events.

Even though they were flying older aircraft, the intrepid 332nd team earned the highest score in the propeller class. But, the record books did not reflect their historic win, and their trophy disappeared.

Check out Lt. Col. Harvey and the 332nd's story

Brought to you by Wish of a Lifetime

This story is provided by AARP Colorado. Visit the AARP Colorado page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

More from AARP in Denver

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events »

Find information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in your state. CDC information is available at; additional AARP information and resources are at En español, visite

AARP Member Card

Join or Renew Today


  • Immediate access to your member benefits
  • Discounts on travel and everyday savings
  • Subscription to the award-winning AARP The Magazine
  • An ally on the issues that matter most to you in Denver
  • Free membership for your spouse or partner