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Who are the Tuskegee pilots?

THE Tuskegee Airmen were a group of mainly African-American military pilots who fought during the Second World War.

Brig. General Charles McGee, one of the last surviving Tuskegee pilots, passed away on January 16, 2022.

Black and white file photo of January 23, 1942 provided by the United States Army Signal Corps. shows Major James A. Ellison, left, inspecting cadets during training at Tuskegee Academy in Tuskegee, Alabama

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Black and white file photo of January 23, 1942 provided by the United States Army Signal Corps. shows Major James A. Ellison, left, inspecting cadets during training at Tuskegee Academy in Tuskegee, AlabamaCredit: US ARMY SIGNAL CORPS

Who are the Tuskegee pilots?

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first black military pilots and pilots in the United States Army Air Forces (AAC) to fight in World War II.

They trained at Tuskegee Army Airfield in Alabama and helped encourage the eventual unification of the United States armed forces.

By the end of World War II, the Air Force had flown more than 15,000 individual sorties over Europe and North Africa.

In 1948, President Harry Truman issued Executive Order No. 9981 separating United States Armed Forces.

By 2007, more than 300 of the original Tuskegee pilots had received the Congressional Gold Medal from the former. President George W. Bush.

Tuskegee pilots are an inspiration to Americans that even before President Barack Obama, once wrote that “his career in public service was made possible by street heroes like the fiery Tuskegee Airmen.”

Who was Charles McGee and how did he die?

On January 16, 2022, one of the last surviving Tuskegee pilots, Brigadier General Charles McGee, deceased in his sleep. He lived 102 years old.

McGee fought in the Second World War, South Korea war and Vietnam War.

He has completed more than 409 air combat missions and has more than 30 years of active service.

In 2007, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

In 2012, McGee received the National Corporate Aviation Association’s Airline Service Excellence Award.

In 2011, he was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame.

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

He is often described as good-natured, with a “humble nature who sees the positivity in every turn.”

In a statement by his family, McGee’s youngest daughter, Yvonne, said he died with “her right arm above her heart and was smiling serenely.”

Retired US Air Force Colonel Charles McGee, a Tuskegee pilot after landing in a Cirrus SF50 Vision jet to help celebrate his 100th birthday

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Retired US Air Force Colonel Charles McGee, a Tuskegee pilot after landing in a Cirrus SF50 Vision jet to help celebrate his 100th birthdayCredit: AP: Associated Press

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DevanCole

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