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International Council of Air Shows

Remembering Brigadier General Charles McGee

January 16th, 2022


Brigadier General Charles McGee passed away peacefully in his sleep at his Bethesda, Maryland home  on Sunday, January 16, at the age of 102.


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


McGee was a decorated U.S. Army Air Force and U.S. Air Force pilot, who was a Tuskegee Airman and served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. During his service, he flew a record 409 combat missions. McGee earned several military honors including the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Distinguished Flying Cross with Two Clusters and two Presidential Unit Citations. He was also awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2007 and inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2011.


McGee recounted his motivating stories of perseverance with the ICAS membership at multiple conventions over the past decade. He will be remembered for his willingness to share his experiences and how he has helped to influence and shape the lives of countless others.


"For three-quarters of a century, Brigadier General McGee helped put a face on the triumphs, sacrifice and patriotism of the people who helped to win World War II while also serving as a source of motivation and inspiration for the tens of thousands who heard him speak about his time as a Tuskegee Airman. Our nation has lost a true patriot," said John Cudahy, President of the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS), and Arsenal of Democracy Executive Committee member.


McGee was honored for his service during both the 2015 and 2020 Arsenal of Democracy Flyovers commemorating the 70th and 75th anniversaries of the end of World War II.    


During the 2015 Arsenal of Democracy Flyover Gala, Brig. Gen. McGee participated in a World War II Combat Veterans panel.