Who are Charles McGee's family? Tuskegee Airman dies age 102

Bruno Cooke January 17, 2022
Who are Charles McGee's family? Tuskegee Airman dies age 102
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images


Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee flew 409 combat missions in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War – former president Donald Trump promoted him to brigadier general in February 2020, two years before he died – but who are the members of his family, including wife Frances Nelson, daughters Charlene and Yvonne, and son Ronald? 

Who is his son, Ronald McGee? Brigadier general’s family life explored

Brigadier general Charles McGee had a son and two daughters. It was his son, Ron McGee, who confirmed that Charles had died in his sleep at his home in Bethesda, Maryland, to ABC7.

Like his father, Ron McGee served in the US military as a pilot. 

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“Continuing the legacy of his father Charles McGee,” reads his EAA bio, “an original Tuskegee Airman, he entered the Air Force after graduation.”

He started his active duty in Ubon, Thailand, and flew with the 497th Night Owl squadron from August 1973 until he returned after the Vietnam War.

Who are Charles McGee’s two daughters, Charlene and Yvonne?

Charles’ first daughter, Charlene McGee Smith, is also his biographer. Her book, Tuskegee Airman: The Biography Of Charles E. McGee, Air Force Fighter Combat Record Holder, came out in June 2000.

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Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Listen to both Charlene and her father discuss the biography, and his life, ahead of its publication, here, via C-SPAN.

The younger of Charles McGee’s two daughters is Yvonne. She said, following the death of her father, that “he had his right hand over his heart and was smiling serenely” – Reuters reports. It’s not clear what she does for a living.

But Charles McGee’s family doesn’t stop there

But Charles McGee’s family goes further: he has 10 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and even one great-great-grandchild. One of his great-grandsons is called Iain Lanphier – he attended the State Of The Union address in February 2020, at which his great-grandfather was honoured.

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However, his wife of more than 50 years, Frances Nelson, died in 1996. They met in April, 1942; McGee’s father married them on 17 October that same year. 

It was the day after their wedding that McGee received orders regarding the war. He became a Tuskegee Airman, and was, at the time of his passing, one of the last surviving members of the group.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.