Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee dies at 102

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Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee dies at 102

Charles McGee, a decorated military pilot with the pioneering all-black Tuskegee Airman who flew combat missions in three wars, died Sunday. He was 102.

McGee died peacefully in his sleep, his family said in a statement obtained by Reuters.

“He had his right hand over his heart and was smiling serenely,” his youngest daughter Yvonne McGee said in a statement released by the spokesperson.

McGee flew 409 fighter combat missions during World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars.

His illustrious career began with the Army Air Corps in 1942, when at the age of 23 he became one of the first black military aviators known as the Tuskegee Airmen.

He was among only a few pilots to fly missions in all three wars.

In this file photo taken on February 4, 2020 retired Brigadier General Charles McGee (bottom C) gestures up during the State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, DC.
McGee, a decorated military pilot, flew 409 fighter combat missions during World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars.
AFP via Getty Images

“You could say that one of the things we were fighting for was equality. Equality of opportunity. We knew we had the same skills, or better,″ he told The Associated Press in a 1995 interview.

Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin reacted to McGee’s death on Twitter, calling him an American hero.

After turning 100, McGee was promoted to the one-star rank of brigadier general under a congressional measure signed by then-President Donald Trump

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

With Post wires

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