An in-depth, family-style casual conversation with Brigadier General Charles McGee for Father's Day included his daughter Charlene McGee Smith, son Ron Mcgee, and youngest daughter Yvonne McGee
Manage episode 294984479 series 2918375
Father's Day, while generally a very special day for most, whether in the present or with loving memories, for many, it can be bittersweet. I am one who lost my father some 35 years ago and still cherish the moments I had with him who I idolize to this day. So, in the present, I appreciate the times I get to spend with my friend, Brigadier General Charles McGee, an upstanding, humble, patriotic, God fearing gentleman, who rightfully so, is a true national treasure, perfectly representing the Dads who served to protect our country.
After many years of everyone interviewing Brigadier General Charles McGee and his family members about his amazing and storied military flying career, it occured to me how nice it would be to talk with the General and his family about the family side of his legendary accomplishments. And, although I have been close to them for a number of years, I was pleasantly surprised with their candor about family life in the shadow of their iconic father as well as his about meeting expectations at work and at home.
As you will hear, there are some revealing comments from all four of them that show their human side and put an exclamation point on the realities of the kind of military life so many have and currently do experience.
What and honor and privilege it has been to share the celebration and acknowledgement of Father's Day with such an iconic, yet humble family. I felt fortunate to be in their presence and cherish the special bond and friendship we have formed. I guess you could say, they make me feel like one of the family, and it doesn't get any better than that.
I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.
Here's a little on his background for keepsake:
On December 7th, famed Tuskegee Airman, Air Force Retired, Brigadier General Charles E. McGee will turned 101 years old. And, what a world class example of positivity, humility, and patriotism he is. Imagine what Brigadier General McGee has seen, since being born over a century ago, in 1919. Why just in 2020 alone, by the time he was honored by NASA, participated in this year’s Super Bowl Coin Toss, had his General’s star pinned on at the White House, and saluted the world during the State of the Union, Brigadier General McGee was already at full throttle before Black History month was even over.
The Tuskegee Airmen story by itself is worthy of its own conversation. Of the nearly 1,000 pilots, more than a third of them flew combat missions; And almost 10,000 Tuskegee Airmen were support personnel, yes, very much like ‘Hidden Figures’, there were thousands of African Americans who supported the Tuskegee Airmen pilots that flew into harm's way. They were maintenance, operations, administration, food services, intelligence officers, and the list goes on, and on, and on. Brigadier General McGee will tell you in a heartbeat, how vital the role of operational support was to safety and security of the Tuskegee Airmen, and that they could not have completed their missions without them.
Brigadier General Charles McGee is originally from Cleveland, Ohio; At 21 years of age, he received the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award; Not long after that, he was “selected” while studying Aerospace Engineering at University of Illinois to head to Tuskegee, Alabama for the Tuskegee Airmen flight training program; that was in 1942; by June of 1943, Brigadier General McGee was a Tuskegee Airman; since then, he has flown 37 different aircraft, received more medals and accommodations than we have time to list, this week; and has flown 409 missions in three wars; World War II, the Korean Conflict, and Vietnam; he also commanded bases and flight squadrons both overseas and here in the United States.