© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Tuskegee Airman Colonel Charles McGee


Kansas City, Mo. – Imagine facing enemy fire at wartime, at the same time as facing the humiliation of discrimination. That's the story of the all-black Flying Class 43-G, better known as the Tuskegee Airmen. These men took part in an Air Force experiment to find out if blacks could be competent aviators.

Former Kansas City resident Colonel Charles McGee was part of this pioneering group. He flew many dangerous missions as a fighter pilot in World World II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. In fact, he flew more fighter missions than any other Air Force aviator.

McGee eventually went on to serve as base commander at the Richards Gebaur Air Force Base and as director of the Kansas City Downtown Airport.

KCUR's Susan B. Wilson recently caught up with Colonel Charles McGee when he spoke at the Kansas City Public Library's Central Branch in connection with the exhibit, The Test: The Tuskeegee Airman Project.

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Susan admits that her “first love” was radio, being an avid listener since childhood. However, she spent much of her career in mental health, healthcare administration, and sports psychology (Susan holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Bloch School of Business at UMKC.) In the meantime, Wilson satisfied her journalistic cravings by doing public speaking, providing “expert” interviews for local television, and being a guest commentator/contributor to KPRS’s morning drive time show and the teen talk show “Generation Rap.”
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.