General Charles McGee first earned his pilot’s wings as one of the famous Tuskegee Airmen in 1943. Now at 101 years old and one of the last living Tuskegee Airmen, Kansas City is making sure his mark on America – and yes Kansas City — is not forgotten.

On June 29, the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport’s general aviation terminal will be renamed to the Brigadier General Charles E. McGee General Aviation Terminal to honor McGee’s many achievements.

McGee’s career in the US Air Force spanned three decades and a total of 409 combat missions across three wars: World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. That’s the most combat missions flown by any Air Force fighter pilot.

After retiring, McGee made his way to Kansas City where he served as manager of the downtown airport and as a member of the Aviation Advisory Commission.

Last year, McGee was honored at the State of the Union Address and he was promoted from colonel to brigadier general.

An honored soldier, McGee was awarded the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster from the United States Air Force, the Elder Statesman of Aviation Award from the National Aeronautics Association, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Air Force Association and the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor bestowed by Congress.

McGee is expected to attend the for the ceremony.

Jazzlyn "Jazzie” is the former senior reporter for our team, who joined the company in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, through the Report for America service program. For the past two years, she covered...

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