Tuskegee Airman from Cleveland dies at 102

Brigadier Gen. Charles McGee
Brigadier Gen. Charles McGee(Veterans Administration)
Published: Jan. 16, 2022 at 7:16 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Brigadier Gen. Charles McGee, one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen, died in his sleep Sunday morning at the age of 102.

Charles Edward McGee was born on Dec. 7, 1919, in Cleveland, Ohio, according to the Veterans Administration’s website.

McGee trained at the Tuskegee Army Airfield in Alabama. After six months, he deployed to the Mediterranean theater in April 1943. While in Africa, McGee joined the 99th Pursuit Squadron and 332nd Fighter Group. He patrolled North Africa, Sicily, and Italy and completed 136 missions. During these tactical missions, McGee would also help gather intelligence. By the end of 1944, he received a promotion to captain.

According to his V.A. website profile, He began a tour in the Philippines in April 1950. That summer, the Korean War began, where he flew 100 missions over the Busan perimeter. Instead of returning home, he asked to complete his original tour in the Philippines. McGee then commanded the 44th Fighter Squadron for two years. Before leaving Korea, he became a major.

In Vietnam, he completed another 173 missions. When he left Vietnam, he was a lieutenant colonel. He then served as the Air Force liaison with the Army in Heidelberg. In Germany, he received his final promotion from this post as a colonel.

After flying for 27 of over 30 years of service, McGee retired in 1973. He flew over 6,100 hours. During his service, he earned the following medals: Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with two clusters, Bronze Star; Air Medal with 25 clusters, Army Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with cluster, Presidential Unit Citation, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, and the Hellenic Republic WWII Commemorative Medal.

On Feb. 4, 2020, he received a promotion to brigadier general.

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