Charles Edward McGee. Colonel. USAF (Ret)

Charles Edward McGee. Colonel. USAF (Ret)

Charles E. McGee was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1919. His college study at the University of Illinois was cut short when he was sworn in the enlisted reserve on October 26, 1942 and received orders to enter Army Air Corps flight training. He received his silver wings as a single engine pilot and was commissioned second lieutenant on 30 June 1943, graduating at Tuskegee Army Air Field, Alabama, in Class 43-F.

charles mcgee bookColonel McGee remained on active duty for 30 years. He became a command pilot and accumulated over 6,300 total hours. He flew fighter aircraft combat tours in three major military conflicts; 136 missions with the 302nd Fighter Squadron in Italy during WWII, 100 missions with the 67th Fighter Bomber Squadron in Korea, and 173 missions while commanding the 16th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron in Viet Nam. He also commanded the 44th Fighter Bomber Squadron 1951-1953 in the Philippine Islands, the 7230th Support Squadron 1961-63 in Italy in support of the Cold War Jupiter Missile program, and the 1840th Air Base Wing and Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base, Missouri in 1972. Decorations awarded include the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Bronze Star, Air Medal with 25 Oak Leaf Clusters, Army and Air Force Commendation Medals, Presidential Unit Citation, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, several campaign and service ribbons, and the Hellenic Republic WWII Commemorative Medal.

Colonel McGee earned a BA degree in Business Administration and worked in real estate and management activities before retiring as manager of Kansas City, MO Downtown Airport.  He now shares his life experiences by speaking in support of Black Heritage and Youth Career motivation programs. He has received the Boy Scouts Silver Beaver award, and is honored as Distinguished Eagle Scout. He also was honored to receive the first General Noel F. Parrish award for service to Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. Other recognitions are that as an Elder Statesman in Aviation by the National Aeronautics Association, Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor,  recipient of the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal, an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service by Tuskegee University and of Humane Letters by Columbia College (Missouri), and the Air Force Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He was enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame on 16 July 2011.