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International Council of Air Shows

Opening General Session: A Conversation with Heroes

November 4th, 2019

On the morning of Tuesday, December 10, David Hartman, the original host of ABC’s Good Morning, America morning news program, will moderate a discussion with three World War II veterans to help kick off our 2019 ICAS Convention. 

A multi-Emmy Award winning broadcast journalist and world-class interviewer, Hartman will lead an hour-long conversation with three men who served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. 

  • Colonel Charles McGee (U.S. Air Force, retired) is a Tuskegee Airman who flew 137 combat missions in the P-39 Cobra, P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang throughout the European Theater between February and December of 1944. He went on to fly an additional 272 combat missions in Korea and Vietnam before retiring from the Air Force in January, 1973. 
  • Lieutenant Colonel Bob Vaucher (U.S. Air Force, retired) flew 117 combat missions during World War II, including the B-29’s first strategic combat mission over the Japanese mainland on June 15, 1944. On September 2, 1945, Vaucher led a massive formation of 525 Superfortresses that flew over the U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay as the Japanese formally surrendered to the Allies. 
  • Karnig Thomasian, a staff sergeant and B-29 gunner, bailed out of his aircraft during a mission over Rangoon, Burma, in December of 1944. He was imprisoned in a Japanese prisoner of war camp for nearly five months before being released in early May of 1945. 

Hartman will help these three men recount their experiences during the war three-quarters of a century ago, and then talk with them about how those experiences shaped and influenced the rest of their lives.