HONOLULU — Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor and 400 guests paid tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen and the vital role they played during World War II with a special “WWII Tuskegee Airman Hangar Talk” by decorated Tuskegee Airman Colonel Charles McGee. The event commemorated African American History Month.
Colonel McGee fought in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, and holds a record for one of the highest three-war total of fighter combat missions of any pilot in United States Air Force history.
He began his military service as one of the Tuskegee Airmen in the 332nd Fighter Group. His career in the U.S. Army Air Corps and U.S. Air Force spanned 30 years and three wars, where he flew 409 aerial combat missions.
During his military career, McGee was awarded the Legion of Merit with Cluster, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star and the Air Medal (25 times).
Also honored at the Hangar Talk was Tuskegee Airman Philip Baham. Baham served as a crew chief for the 337th Composite Group at Tuskegee Army Air Field. Baham is a volunteer at Pacific Aviation Museum, sharing his story with visitors as a greeter in the lobby of Hangar 37.
The day before, on Friday, Feb. 3, more than 250 Honolulu students in grades 6-12 attended another presentation geared towards youth titled, “In His Own Words,” presented by McGee.
“It was such an honor to have a veteran pilot of Col. McGee’s stature and distinction speak with us,” said Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor Executive Director Kenneth DeHoff.