Photo Credit: Paul J. Richards
Oldest Tuskegee Airmen Takes Flight With Great-Grandson Following In His Footsteps
Former pilot and one of the oldest living Tuskegee Airmen, Charles McGee, continues to take flights with his great-grandson even at 101 years old. McGee also flies with younger pilots of color who are becoming established in their early careers.
McGee proves that a shared moment between a great-grandfather and his great-grandson are some of the most valuable.
The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of African American soldiers who were resilient military pilots during World War 2. Although they experienced continuous racism from their higher-ranking officers, these group of Black pilots still trained at the Tuskegee station in Alabama that was extremely segregated at the time.
McGee is one of the oldest Tuskegee Airman alive, and he served in the military for over 30 years with hundreds of dangerous encounters. He commonly was in combat fighter missions during the heightened global conflicts that were taking place in the 1940s.
Nearly 80 years later and McGee goes on flights with aspiring pilots who are now making their way to the aviation convention, EAA AirVenture. The event attracts over half a million people annually and this is where veteran and newcomer pilots can connect through insightful discussions and of course, flights. Charles McGee’s son, Lain Lanphier joins him on these flight adventures where McGee speaks publicly to aviation connoisseurs in Wisconsin where the convention was held.
On Wisconsin’s local news channel, McGee shared sentiments on how he feels being a veteran pilot who is capable of passing down the knowledge he knows from his historical feats and flight experiences.
“The young folks are the future of this country. I don’t have too much time left here, so mentoring them is one of the most important things I can do.”