HomeNewsArticle Display

Tuskegee Airman engages with today's generation of Airmen

Retired Col. Charles E. McGee, an original Tuskegee Airman, speaks with Airmen during a visit to Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Oct. 27. Senior Airman Alfredo Maldonado, right, and Airman 1st Class Quinton Coke, both personnelist with the 66th Force Support Squadron, and other Airmen from Hanscom, met with McGee who spoke about lessons learned, Air Force history and challenged each Airmen to believe in themselves. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)

Retired Col. Charles E. McGee, a Tuskegee Airman, speaks with Airmen during a visit to Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Oct. 27, 2016. Senior Airman Alfredo Maldonado, right, and Airman 1st Class Quinton Coke, both personnelist with the 66th Force Support Squadron, and other Airmen from Hanscom, met with McGee. (U.S. Air Force photo/Mark Herlihy)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. (AFNS) -- Before heading into Boston Oct. 27 to speak at an event co-hosted by the New England Tuskegee Airmen Chapter, retired Col. Charles E. McGee, a Tuskegee Airman, met with several Airmen here.

McGee said he appreciates the opportunity he has to meet with this generation of Airmen.

“I think it’s important to know where we’ve been, because there are some things we don’t want to repeat,” he said. “It’s good to be part of that education, to pass on the lessons to our young people because they are the future.”

McGee served on active duty for 30 years, retiring in 1973. During that time, he became a command pilot with more than 6,000 flying hours and 400 combat missions in three major conflicts, World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War.

The Tuskegee Airmen, named after Tuskegee Army Airfield in Alabama, received pilot and aircraft maintenance training during WW II. The Tuskegee Airmen were not just flyers, but also radio operators, navigators, bombardiers, aircraft maintainers, support staff, instructors and all the personnel who kept the planes in the air.

Senior Airman Alfredo Maldonado, a personnelist assigned to the 66th Force Support Squadron, was one of the Airman who were able to talk with McGee.

“I came to learn more about the Tuskegee Airmen, to learn more about the legacy of these pioneers,” Maldonado said. “What they accomplished is more impactful when heard in person by someone who experienced it firsthand. I’m glad I had this opportunity and thankful he could spend some time with us.”




McGee’s message for each of the Airmen he spoke with was to work hard for what they want. He discussed what current Airmen could learn from the experiences of Tuskegee Airmen.

“We (Tuskegee Airmen) could have bowed our head and said ‘they don’t like me, they don’t want me’ and gone off into the corner,” he said. “What would that have accomplished? We wouldn’t have served our country nor dispelled the biases that had been part of the policy that said because of skin color we didn’t have talent.”

McGee said he has been most proud of the opportunity he had to serve his country.

“Being able to serve our country was certainly a big step during that time,” he said. “Today that’s what we’re (Tuskegee Airmen) all about, providing opportunity and encouragement to our young folks.”

McGee, as well as retired Lt. Cols. Enoch Woodhouse and George Hardy, each Tuskegee Airman themselves, was in the area to participate in “A Conversation with History” at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.

McGee offered this advice to Airmen serving in the Air Force today.

“Believe that you can,” he said. “If you have doubts about your ability you’re shorting yourself. You’ve got to believe and then be willing to go for it.”

Engage

Twitter
When #COVID19 disrupted her family's routine, Ayesha Beck, a Phase II Radiology instructor @59_MDW, had to figure o… https://t.co/qf0tyWPbuM
Twitter
.@USAFReserve's Capt. Katie Saunders took a break from her regular job as a Family Nurse Practitioner to serve w/ t… https://t.co/0jawDHGhdx
Twitter
.@RenovoDerm has developed a synthetic version of an advanced skin graft which can be used in wound and burn care.… https://t.co/nULcRAETwa
Twitter
“We’re doing a lot of work toward becoming a more diverse force, but I think we have the opportunity in front of us… https://t.co/qqj6wY0A7v
Twitter
RT @MINationalGuard: Providing exceptional service to Michiganders, the Michigan National Guard has faced unprecedented challenges in respo…
Twitter
Check out how the @F35DemoTeam performs the Inverted-to-Inverted Pass maneuver. #ReadyAF #AimHigh https://t.co/oewD5hsMjH
Twitter
"We’re the big tent service because we have the most diverse mission set. We do leaflets to nukes. We ought to be t… https://t.co/uTsRSr98qA
Twitter
#Staysafe while using your local library. Great job @RamsteinAirBase! https://t.co/m2enNSRWji
Twitter
RT @TheLeeGreenwood: Honored to have collaborated with the @usairforce band and @HomeFreeGuys on my song #GodBlessTheUSA ! Happy Birthday A…
Twitter
.@AFResearchLab shows off some of innovations in response to #COVID19. #ReadyAF #InnovativeAF #AimHigh https://t.co/86UWQQS08i
Twitter
U.S. forces at Yokota Air Base teamed up for training needed to get their special tactics operators where they need… https://t.co/FXxtm6hTKP
Twitter
RT @AirmanMagazine: Happy Independence Day, America! https://t.co/FHQUHvpxpS
Twitter
Thunderbirds, bombers, fighter jets fly over city of Boston on Fourth of July https://t.co/Td08zVocnI
Twitter
The @USDA partners w/ Andersen AFB to prevent the spread of the invasive brown tree snake. USDA & their detection d… https://t.co/aFCE3kmSwP
Twitter
RT @nbcwashington: Watch Live: The U.S. Air Force band is celebrating the Fourth of July with a concert performance at Joint Base Andrews.…
Twitter
RT @AFThunderbirds: Airborne! Happy birthday, America! 🇺🇸 Boston - 4:00 NYC - 5:00 Philly - 5:15 Baltimore - 5:30 D.C. - 7:00 *All times…
Twitter
RT @EsperDoD: We must never forget the millions of men and women who dedicate their lives to the founding document that secures our liberty…
Twitter
Check out @307BombWing's new mission video! 📹 U.S. Air Force video by Airman 1st Class Celeste Zuniga #ReadyAFhttps://t.co/Sss9me5QEt
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,248,034
Follow Us