Charles E. McGee

National Aviation Hall of Fame enshrinee Charles E. McGee will forever be remembered for his flying spirit and dedication to his country. While in college in 1941, war was declared on Japan and Germany. Once he heard that the Army Air Force was recruiting African Americans for aviation training, he immediately applied. Soon after, he found himself in the 332nd fighter group. The 332nd obtained a well-earned reputation over the skies of Europe and soon became known as the “Red Tails” after the squadron painted their tails a bright red to let both allies and enemies in the sky know who they were. After his WWII service, McGee returned to serve in the USAF in Korea and Vietnam. McGee would set a record of 409 combat missions flown in three separate wars; after 30 years of service, McGee retired from the USAF as a Colonel. His record of combat missions still stands to this day. After he retired from the USAF, he finally finished his degree he put on hold more than 30 years later.