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Tuskegee airmen, Jackson VA employees and Alcorn State ROTC cadets

Tuskegee airmen LTC (ret.) James Harvey III and Calvin Moret (center) with Jackson VA employees, Dr. Deborah Bilbrew (left) and Joann Lathon (right). Also pictured are six ROTC cadets from Alcorn State university who helped present plaques to the airmen.

By Public Affairs
Monday, November 28, 2011

 Autobiography of James Harvey III

 LTC James Harvey III graduated from Aviation Cadet training from Tuskegee Army Air Field on October 16, 1944 as a Second Lieutenant Flying Officer. 

 He distinguished himself for honorable military service on behalf of the United Nations during the Korean War from December 1, 1950 to January 13, 1951 and was one of three Primary Members of the 332nd Fighter Group Weapons Team that competed in the first-ever United States Air Force (USAF) Weapons Meet “Top Gun” at Las Vegas Air Force Base winning the event. 

His illustrious career includes overseas tours in Korea, Japan and Newfoundland and stateside assignments in Kentucky, California, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.  LTC Harvey’s commendations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with 10 Oak Leaf Clusters, Distinguished Unit Citation with 10 Oak Leaf Clusters, American Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Air Force Reserve Medal, United Nations Medal, Army Occupation Medal (Japan), National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars and the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation. 

 On March 29, 2007 he was present when the “Tuskegee Airmen” received the Congressional Gold Medal in the rotunda of the nation’s capitol.   

 LTC James Harvey retired from military service on May 31, 1965.  Upon retirement, LTC Harvey worked for the next 15 years with the Oscar Mayer Company retiring in 1980 as the company’s first “African-American” distribution center manager. 

 Autobiography of Calvin G. Moret   

Calvin George Moret entered the military in 1943 and trained as a military pilot at Tuskegee, Alabama, receiving his wings and commission as a Flight Officer on November 20, 1944. His preparation for overseas combat duty continued through the end of the war in Europe and then through the end of the war in the Pacific. He was discharged from military service on January 31, 1946.

Following his discharge from military duty he returned to the family printing business, Moret Press, started by his father in 1932. The need for an in-house linotype machine prompted him to seek a school for this purpose outside of New Orleans because segregation laws at the time would not allow him to study at Delgado Trade School. He was able to gain admission as a student in the printing department at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and completed the course.

Mr. Moret’s flying experience did not stop upon discharge from the military.   In the spring of 1949, he and his brother Adolph, who had learned to fly before the war, formed a flying club. They, along with about 20 other men, purchased a 3-place Piper Super Cruiser airplane and hangered it at Lakefront Airport in New Orleans till the summer of 1953. They taught a number of the members to fly.

On June 17, 2008, as a result of Hurricane Katrina and the flooding aftermath that decimated the city, Moret Press was destroyed and the family was separated for months. The business has not operated since the Friday before the hurricane struck.

Following the release of “The Tuskegee Airmen” movie in 1995, Mr. Moret has frequently lectured about his experiences and promoting the proud history of African-American accomplishments in American life.

In 2007, Mr. Moret was present when he Tuskegee Airmen received the Congressional Gold Medal in the rotunda of the nation’s capitol.