(AbsoluteNews.com) – Charles McGee joined the all-Black Red Tails fighter group after graduating from flight school. He was stationed at the Tuskegee Army Air Field in 1943 and flew 136 missions over Europe during World War II. On January 16, at the age of 102, the war hero died in his sleep at home in Bethesda, Maryland.
McGee proudly served the United States in three wars while fighting racism both home and abroad for himself and his fellow pilots throughout his impressive career. His contribution to the success of many combat missions earned him an honorary promotion to the one-star rank of brigadier general on his 100th birthday. McGee flew a private jet to the event.
Today, we lost an American hero. Charles McGee, Brigadier General and one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airman, passed at the age of 102. While I am saddened by his loss, I'm also incredibly grateful for his sacrifice, his legacy, and his character. Rest in peace, General. pic.twitter.com/3GLNbfRHs7
— Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III (@SecDef) January 16, 2022
McGee was born in Cleveland in 1919 and was one of more than 900 men trained at the Alabama air station between 1940 and 1946. After graduation, he flew a record-setting 409 aerial combat missions, and went on to serve a total of 30 years before retiring in 1973. In 2007, Congress honored the Tuskegee Airmen, including McGee, with Congressional Gold Medals for their “unique military record.”
He was a living legend who broke through racial barriers while keeping a kind heart despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles society put in his way. McGee leaves behind 2 daughters, 10 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and a legacy that will live on throughout the ages.
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