Decorated Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee Dies at Age 102

Decorated Tuskegee Airman Brigadier General Charles McGee died in his sleep on Jan. 16 at the age of 102, his family announced.

“McGee was a living legend known for his kind-hearted and humble nature, who saw positivity at every turn,” his family said in a statement.

“He spent the last half century inspiring future generations to pursue careers in aviation, but equally important, he encouraged others to be the best they could be, to follow their dreams, and to persevere through all challenges,” his family further said.

McGee was one of the last surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first all-Black military aviator unit in the United States Service Corps.

McGee successfully flew out 409 combat missions in a span of 30 years across three conflicts from World War II to Vietnam.

McGee received several accolades throughout his career, including the Congressional Gold Medal in 2007 and the National Business Aviation Association’s Meritorious Service to Aviation Award in 2012.

In 2011, McGee was inducted to the National Aviation Hall of Fame.

“Today, we lost an American hero… While I am saddened by his loss, I’m also incredibly grateful for his sacrifice, his legacy, and his character,” U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in tribute to McGee on Twitter.

McGee is survived by his three children, 10 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.

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