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In Memoriam: Charles E. McGee

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Tuskegee Airman & Distinguished Disciple dies at 102

Brigadier General Charles E. McGee died Sunday, January 16, 2022, at his home in Bethesda, Maryland, at the age of 102. He was a member of North Chevy Chase Christian Church in Chevy Chase, Maryland. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on December 7, 1919. In addition to his religious foundation (do unto others), the Boy Scout oath (do my best to do my duty to God and country) and his Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity motto (to be first of all, you must be a servant of all) helped establish core values that served him throughout life. 


After high school, Charles worked a year in the Civilian Conservation Corps to save enough money for college. He met and married Frances Nelson while attending the University of Illinois. Two days after their wedding on October 17, 1942, he received orders to report to the Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet.


WWII interrupted Charles’ college education, but he returned to earn a bachelor's degree from Columbia College in Missouri and went on to receive three honorary degrees: Honorary Doctorate in Public Service by Tuskegee University, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by Columbia College, and an Honorary Doctorate in Public Service from Bethany College.  


After flying as a Tuskegee Airman in World War Two, he built a legacy for the next three decades as an Air Force pilot during the North Korea and Vietnam wars. He retired about 50 years ago. After his military career, McGee worked as a business executive and an airport manager in Kansas City, Missouri. He also served as president of the Tuskegee Airmen Association.

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

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