Friday, January 21st, 2022 by

Charles McGee, one of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, passed away on Sunday, January 16th at age 102. According to the Washington Post, when the all-Black flying unit was formed during World War II, “some officers questioned whether African Americans had the skill, intelligence and courage to become military pilots”. McGee and his fellow pilots proved them wrong, flying some of the most successful missions of the war.  Joseph Caver, co-author of The Tuskegee Airmen: An Illustrated History, 1939-1949, offered some words of remembrance from his personal contact with McGee. He said that what struck him the most about McGee was his calmness. He was “quiet, humorous, loved to laugh, loved to joke. I would consider him a true American hero and someone we could look up to and a great man.” Caver’s book, co-authored by Jerome Ennels and Daniel L. Haulman, uses captioned photographs to trace the Airmen through the stages of training, deployment, and combat actions in North Africa, Italy, and Germany. The authors tell in pictures and words the full story of the Tuskegee Airmen and the environments in which they lived, worked, played, fought, and sometimes died. McGee was a “wonderful man,” said Caver, and his death is a “terrible loss.”