Celebrated Airman Charles McGee known for his performance at Tuskegee breathed his last on Sunday. He was 102-year-old.
Charles McGee, the celebrated veteran who famously flew 409 fighter combat missions in three wars. Charles McGee, later on, assisted black pilots in the battle against racism profusely.
Ron McGee, son of Charles McGee confirmed that Charles McGee passed away peacefully in his sleep in Bethesda, Maryland.
Charles Edward McGee was born in Cleveland on 7th December 1919 to a minister who was also a social worker, teacher, and military chaplain.
Charles McGee joined the experimental program for black soldiers just before the entry of Americans in World War II after the African Americans were allowed to get admitted into the army air corps.
In 1942 he was sent to Alabama for flight training at a Tuskegee Army Air Field and remained associated with the Tuskegee till his retirement.
“You could say that one of the things we were fighting for was equality,” he stated in a 1995 interview. “Equality of opportunity. We knew we had the same skills, or better.”
McGee joined the 332nd fighter group, which is an all-black fighter group. According to the insights, McGee flew 136 missions as this group almost always accompanied bombers over Europe.
McGee served the U.S Air Force for over 30 years. He was known for flying low-level bombing and strafing missions. He also took part in Vietnam as well as the Korean war.
According to the National Aviation Hall of Fame, his 409 aerial fighter missions in three different wars are still an unbroken record.
Charles McGee retired from the Air Force in 1973 as a colonel.
He also received an honorary commission that promoted him into a one-star brigadier general on his 100th birthday.
Charles McGee garnered a standing ovation from the Congress members in 2020 when then-president Donald Trump introduced him while addressing the state of the union.
Charles McGee is survived by his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and a great-great-grandchild. His only wife for over 50 years passed away in 1994.