100-year-old Tuskegee Airman, Cleveland Native honored during State of the Union address by President Donald Trump
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - 100-year-old Charles McGee was recognized by President Donald Trump at the State of the Union address.
The Cleveland native is a retired U.S. Air Force Col. who served as a member of the Tuskegee Airmen.
President Donald Trump stopped to recognize McGee alongside his great-grandson, Ian Lanphier, at the State of the Union address.
McGee was honored with a promotion to brigadier general.
"In the gallery tonight, we have one of the Space Force’s youngest potential recruits: 13-year-old Iain Lanphier, an eighth-grader from Arizona. Iain has always dreamed of going to space. He was first in his class and among the youngest at an aviation academy. He aspires to go to the Air Force Academy, and then, he has his eye on the Space Force. As Iain says, “most people look up at space, I want to look down on the world.”
Sitting beside Iain tonight is his great hero. Charles McGee was born in Cleveland, Ohio, one century ago. Charles is one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen — the first black fighter pilots — and he also happens to be Iain’s great-grandfather. After more than 130 combat missions in World War II, he came back to a country still struggling for Civil Rights and went on to serve America in Korea and Vietnam. On December 7th, Charles celebrated his 100th birthday. A few weeks ago, I signed a bill promoting Charles McGee to Brigadier General. And earlier today, I pinned the stars on his shoulders in the Oval Office. General McGee: Our Nation salutes you."
According to NBC News, McGee flew 409 fighter combat missions during his tenure in three wars.
He celebrated his 100th birthday in the sky on Dec. 6, 2019.
If you’d like to learn more, McGee will speak with NASA at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, discussing his experiences as a trailblazer.
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