Photography by Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.

The Society pays tribute to him on the eve of his 100th birthday

WASHINGTON, December 6, 2019 – Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) announced today plans to award an Hap Arnold Education Grant to pay tribute to Col. Charles E. McGee, a retired African-American fighter pilot and Tuskegee Airmen.

McGee served on active duty for 30 years and retired in 1973. While in the U.S. Air Force (USAF), he became a command pilot with more than 6,000 flying hours and flew in over 400 combat missions in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War.

“Col. McGee and all the Tuskegee Airmen played a pivotal role in our history,” said retired Lt. Gen. and AFAS CEO John D. Hopper. “It’s a privilege for us at AFAS to create an education grant to honor his legacy. He broke so many barriers for so many Airmen including me, and to do this on the eve of his 100th birthday seems like the perfect opportunity to say thank you.”

The Hap Arnold Education Grant program has been providing need-based grants since 1988 to the dependents of active-duty and retired Airmen each year. Grants range from $500 to $4,000 based upon a student’s particular level of financial need. Select grants awarded carry the name of an individual or organization exemplifying service to the USAF. McGee’s grant will be included in this distinguished list. The grant will bear his name and will be called: The General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant in honor of Tuskegee Airman Colonel Charles E. McGee. To see the full list, visit named General Hap Arnold education grants.

Since launching the education program, AFAS has awarded over $172 million in “Hap” Arnold Education Grants to 111,671. For more information and eligibility requirements, visit

“Education is and has always been a core mission for AFAS,” said retired Air Force Maj. Gen. and AFAS Board President Judge William A. Moorman. “Honoring exemplary figures in our history like McGee serves as an inspiration for the next generation of Airmen and connects them to a legacy characterized by professionalism and hard work.”


About Air Force Aid Society

The Air Force Aid Society is a 4-star Charity Navigator rated private, nonprofit organization. Founded in 1942, the Air Force Aid Society’s mission is to help relieve the financial distress of Air Force members and their families and assist them in achieving their educational goals, as well as improving their quality of life by providing proactive programs. In 2018 alone, the Air Force Aid Society provided over $21.4 million to more than 37,000 Airmen and their families through emergency assistance, educational and community programs. Headquartered in Arlington, Va., the Air Force Aid Society administers assistance through Airman and Family Readiness Centers around the world and maintains cross-servicing agreements with the Army Emergency Relief, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief, the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance and the American Red Cross to offer emergency assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. To learn more about the Air Force Aid Society, please visit or follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.



Latoya Crowe
Director, Communications & Development