73 Comments

Thanks for this. I wish I and we all knew more about these stories and men like General McGee. His advice about treating others the way you would like to be treated is how many of us were raised. Not so much any more. Black history month needs more emphasis on what guys like General McGee and Thomas Sowell seek to teach and their core values that are universal .

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Another great piece of real, relevant and uplifting history - thank you!

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It’s a shame we don’t make better use of Black history month to speak about the incredible contributions of Black Americans. From the Revolutionary War, Civil War and every war since, to inventions, science, economics, sports, politics and every aspect of our American history, Black American contributions have shaped this country’s trajectory. Let’s talk about these heroes and what every child can become and not the life draining talk of victim hood.

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I had the great honor to serve on the Air Staff under Tuskegee graduate and commander of the legendary WWII Red Tails, the 99th Fighter Squadron, General B. O. Davis, Jr., the first African American officer to be promoted to Brigadier General and later to full General. He was a model of quiet authority and a great leader. I was also privileged to meet and fly with then Colonel Daniel James, Jr., later to hold the rank of General as Commander of NORAD, another inspirational leader. Both of those men achieved success while overcoming many obstacles and paving the way for the current generations of outstanding Black leaders.including the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General C.Q. Brown, Jr..

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"The Tuskegee “training program was criticized because so many of the cadets ‘washed out’ or failed to complete flight training and get their wings.” But placing a premium on excellence meant that “those who did graduate were grateful that the standards were high, and that they had fulfilled them.”"

It struck me that this is the exact opposite of what Leftists are doing now. Rather than maintaining high standards of excellence, the Left is seeking to lower standards for black people. It's a deeply racist approach, because it assumes that black people cannot succeed without less being asked of them.

The Tuskegee Airmen were the most stellar flying unit in WWII. The training standards they were expected to meet almost certainly played a major role in that success.

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The Tuskegee Airmen fought to be allowed to fight for an America that would one day look beyond color. I believe that most of them would be appalled by the racist garbage that BLM and its allies preach.

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What a beautiful story. Posthumous salute from an old Army Specialist to a great General. And though it is cliche to say nowadays, thankful for his service.

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I am not sure if many people know this but the Tuskegee airmen were supported in the UK (at least in Hull) with their own Red Cross club which included black American women who staffed it. I came across a reference to the club when I was researching the women Red Cross volunteers.

According to Jerry White The Battle of London 1939 -1945, at times the viciousness of the white American GIs to their black comrades shocked Londoners. Most racial incidents were white on black. Eventually, there was black clubs on London the Bouillabase International, Frisco's, The Nest, Smoky Joe's, the Shim-Sham and Tig's all served the growing population of black servicemen. Also the USAAF established a 'Negro chorus' which performed to sell out concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in September 1943 because there was such an appreciation black American musical culture. White does not mention if any Tuskegee airmen performed in the chorus.

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Thanks! Know little about the Tuskegee Airmen & knew nothing about General McGee. Now I’m intrigued & will learn more. Shameful they weren’t treated with respect & dignity by all. We humans too often fear “difference” clinging to our tiny social pack for safety thereby missing life’s relational richness.

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Chuck McGee was a friend, and this article captures him well. He was a great American.

Chuck’s daughter taught my wife and me and our children how to scuba dive, and when we went on a Cayman diving trip together he came along, on mission. He had promised his daughter that if she learned to fly—which she had—he would learn to dive—which he did, sort of. He was a convivial man but gentle and modest. At one Air Force ceremony, he listened as they ticked off the astounding wartime record of a pilot they were honoring with some award, then realized to his surprised that he was the awardee. Many years ago, the Tuskegee Airmen established an aviation scholarship program, and went out of their way to specify that it was for students of all races. Chuck was proud of that, but also happy that, inevitably, it ended up primarily helping and inspiring young African-Americans.

Chuck celebrated his birthdays with a plane flight—all the way to his 100th.

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My son Andy I stopped at the small Tuskegee museum in Alabama and walked the grounds. The instructors set an unbelievably high bar far every specialty knowing they were representing a their race as well as the USA. It was very impressive the pride they had. Occasionally, a bomber crew would be forced to land at their base in Italy, And these Tuskegee guys would roll out the red carpet to make the white guys feel “like kings”. I’d highly recommend a visit to any of you. Go read the displays and spent some time talking to the guys working there.

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Feb 22·edited Feb 22

Playing the devil's advocate let's say the country is on board with this DEI nonsense. Let's give everyone whose ancestors were persecuted a handout. Then what? Is it expected these people will prosper magically on their own merit from then on? Or will they expect handouts in perpetuity? Since when have crutches helped in the long run? It's time we started using some common sense and thinking two steps ahead in our country.

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Meritocracy knows no skin color or sex.

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A great read. Sadly the traitor Lyndon Johnson and his leftist destroyed the black family. Its a shame that currently 99% of that community give the other members a bad name.

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The 12 scout laws: trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. He’s right. The country would be a lot better if everyone followed those. God speed General.

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The history and accomplishments of the Tuskegee airmen and great men like General McGee should become required reading for every American. They were true heroes in every sense of the word. But everyone should also understand that the politics of discrimination reached far beyond just than the treatment of blacks during the WW2 era.

My 100% Italian-American dad, the son of immigrant parents, enlisted in the Army Air Corps and reported for duty on his 18th birthday in 1943. He qualified for and excelled during basic pilot training. But upon entering advanced pilot training (in Georgia) the southern-based training officers made it very clear at the outset that none of the "greasy Wops from New York" were ever going to become pilots under their watch.

True to the trainers' word, none did -- every pilot trainee with an Italian surname or of Italian heritage was treated exceptionally harshly during training, and wound up with a final rating just below the threshold needed to become an active pilot. Considered washouts, many of these men were sent to the infantry to fight on the front lines. My dad was "fortunate" to only be 5'5", and was given the opportunity to enter training to become a navigator (since they had to be short in order to fit in a navigator's compartment on a B-17).

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