Retired Air Force honorary Brig. Gen. Charles McGee speaks with NASA astronaut Alvin Drew at NASA's D.C. headquarters during a Black History Month program, "Trailblazers: The Story of a Tuskegee Airman," on Feb. 5. (Joel Kowsky/NASA)
Retired Air Force honorary Brig. Gen. Charles McGee speaks with NASA astronaut Alvin Drew at NASA's D.C. headquarters during a Black History Month program, "Trailblazers: The Story of a Tuskegee Airman," on Feb. 5. (Joel Kowsky/NASA)

Charles McGee, the 100-year-old Tuskegee Airman honored during President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, made a special visit this week to NASA headquarters in D.C., where he spoke before a packed auditorium about his experience in the Air Force as one of the first African American military pilots to serve in combat.

McGee, one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen and a veteran of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, said he loved flying right from his first lesson.

“When I got called … for that first ride, I was hooked,” he said during the Wednesday event, which was livestreamed on YouTube by NASA. “I loved being able to get off the ground and do a loop roll and spin and put your feet on the ground again, that’s for me.”

Earlier in the day, McGee was honorarily promoted to brigadier general at the White House by Trump.

“I signed a bill [a few weeks ago] promoting Charles McGee to brigadier general,” Trump said during the pinning ceremony. “And earlier today, I pinned the stars on his shoulders in the Oval Office. General McGee, our nation salutes you. Thank you, sir.”

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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