McGee earned his pilot's wings on June 30, 1943, and became one of the nation's first black fighter pilots as part of the storied Tuskegee Airmen. At the time, segregation severely limited opportunities for black aviators, and many felt black people didn't have what it took to be pilots.
But McGee and his comrades in the 332nd Fighter Group, flying P-51 Mustang fighters emblazoned with a distinctive red tail, proved them wrong as they escorted bombers over Europe. They became known and respected for their exceptional fighting skills, and helped pave the way for the military to desegregate after the war.
Aviator badge, an insignia used to designate those who have received training and qualification in military aviation.
A combat aircraft designed to carry and drop bombs.
During the Cold War, bombers were the only means of carrying nuclear weapons to enemy targets, and held the role of deterrence.