Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee

Brigadier General Charles McGee

Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee enlisted in the United States Army on October 26, 1942 as a pilot cadet. He received his wings becoming an official pilot in the US Army Air Corps graduating in Class 43-F on June 30, 1943.

By February 1944, he was stationed in Italy with the 332nd Fighter Group. He had been assigned to the 302nd Fighter Squadron and flew his first mission on Valentine’s Day. All of the squadrons within the 332nd FG were flying the P-39 Airacobra. Most of their missions with the P-39s were tp protect the Allied ships during the the Battle of Angio and to give cover for the troops once they were on Italian soil.

They were then supplied with P-47 Thunderbolts for the ground attack roll, but just for about two months. At that time, the 332nd were given P-51 Mustangs and moved into the primary roll of bomber escort.

On August 23rd, 1944, Charles McGee engaged a formation of Focke-Wulf 190s and shot one down.

He ended his tour in the war as a captain having flown 137 combat missions. Returning to the states, he became an instructor pilot in the 477th Bomb Group. The 477th had been establish as an all black group to train in the B-25 Mitchell bomber with the intention of sending the group into the Pacific War with Japan. The war ended before they were ready to deploy.

In the late 1940’s, he had become a jet fighter pilot. When the Korean War broke out, he was deployed with the 67th Fighter Bomber Squadron flying the WWII vintage P-51 Mustang. They needed the P-51 in Korea for its ground support abilities. He completed 100 missions and came back the the US as a major.

During the Vietnam War, now a lieutenant colonel, McGee flew 172 combat missions in a McDonnell RF-4 photo-reconnaissance aircraft. During his Southeast Asia combat tour, McGee served as the Squadron Commander of the 16th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (TRS), of the 460th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, of which was based at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, in South Vietnam. The 16th TRS flew the RF-4C photo reconnaissance Phantom II.

Flying in 3 different wars, Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee had flown a total of 409 combat missions.

On February 4, 2020, now 100 years old, Charles McGee was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General by President Donald Trump who personally pinned the stars on now Brigadier General Charles McGee’s shoulders.