Maryland Library Renamed After Legendary Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee

Brig. Gen. McGee, one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen, died at the age of 102 in January.

Gen Charles McGee
Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Officials in Montgomery County, Maryland, have officially named the Silver Spring Library the Brigadier General Charles E. McGee Library after the pioneering airman who died earlier this year.

Brig. Gen. McGee, one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen, the first all-Black unit of the WWII Army Air Forces, died in his home in nearby Bethesda at the age of 102.

County Council Member Will Jawando suggested renaming the library after McGee shortly after his passing in January. County Executive Marc Elrich agreed and yesterday signed an executive order renaming the Silver Spring Library.

"There is no better way for us to conclude Black History Month than by memorializing a Montgomery County resident who was an American hero, a trailblazing African American, and a man who lived an extraordinary life," Elrich said in a press release.

Yvonne McGee said her father loved talking to young people and often asked them if they had been to the library.

"He thought it was important to be able to share and keep young folks motivated, because he felt their future was going to be offered new challenges and they needed all the help that they could get," she said in an address Monday.

WATCH: Charles McGee, Legendary Tuskegee Airman, Dies at 102

Brig. Gen. McGee joined the all-Black 332nd Fighter Group, known as the "Red Tails," in early 1944. He remained in the Army Air Corps—later the U.S. Air Force—and served for 30 years. According to the National Aviation Hall of Fame, his 409 aerial fighter combat missions in three wars (WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War) are the most in U.S. history.

McGee retired as a colonel in the Air Force in 1973, then earned a college degree in business administration and worked as a business executive. He received numerous accolades throughout his career, including the Congressional Gold Medal in 2007.

The library will reportedly get new signage with McGee's name later this year.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles