Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee Dies at 102

photo of Brigadier General Charles Mcgee at Andrews AFB

Brigadier General Charles McGee, an American hero, and Montgomery County’s most famous World War II veteran died in his sleep Sunday morning at the age of 102. According to a press release by his longtime spokesperson, Vince Mickens, “His family said of his peaceful passing, ‘He had his right hand over his heart and was smiling serenely. ‘”  His son, Ronald McGee,  added, ” He was a wonderful human being….I feel proud and privileged to be his son.”

One of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen, McGee flew 409 combat missions in World War  II, Korea, and Vietnam. During and after his illustrious career he received many honors, including The Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, and the Congressional Gold Medal, among others.

Defying the old axiom “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away”, McGee continued to thrive after he retired from the armed services. He dedicated his life to sharing the lessons of the Airmen and encouraging young people to pursue careers in aviation.

He also continued to fly, piloting a private jet in celebration of his 100th birthday.

Brigadier General McGee was a modest, soft-spoken man who never boasted about his accomplishments, always saying instead, “Why me?”

According to a family press release, McGee is survived by his oldest daughter, Charlene McGee Smith, his son, Ronald McGee, his youngest daughter, Yvonne McGee, 10 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and one great great-grandchild.

The press release concludes, “As the nation mourns, the family asks that we remember the importance and significance of the legacy he left, all of his fellow Tuskegee Airmen, and everyone who played a role in the support and protection of  American democracy.”

Funeral and burial arrangements are pending.

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