seal  Purdue News

September 23, 2003

Tuskegee Airmen pilot to share experiences at Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Col. Charles McGee, a decorated Air Force fighter pilot who flew with the African-American squadron known as the Tuskegee Airmen, will deliver a speech entitled "The Tuskegee Airmen Experience: Segregation in the Military" on Thursday, Oct. 2.

Col. Charles McGee

Sponsored by the Black Cultural Center, the speech will begin at 7 p.m. in Stewart Center, Room 206. McGee will share the history of the veteran flyers and the racial segregation African-American fighter pilots experienced during World War II.

McGee served in the Air Force for 30 years and fought in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He holds the record for the highest three-war total of fighter combat missions in U.S. Air Force history.

His military service began as one of the Tuskegee Airmen in the 332nd Division. The squadron never lost a single bomber under their escort to enemy fighters.

Renee Thomas, Black Cultural Center director, said McGee will have many moving stories to share.

"Col. McGee is an American hero," Thomas said. "He has led an exemplary life and has an inspiring story to tell. The Tuskegee Airmen peacefully and persistently challenged racial barriers in the military and broadened the foundation for the civil rights movement."

McGee has served two terms as president of the international association, Tuskegee Airmen Inc.

In conjunction with McGee's visit to Purdue, Boiler Television also will air a movie, entitled "The Tuskegee Airmen," at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1.

Writer: Marydell Forbes (765) 496-7704,

Sources: Renee Thomas, (765) 494-3091,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;


Related Web site:
Charles McGee biography

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