Super Bowl coin flip honor for 100-year-old Tuskegee Airman from Bethesda

Col. Charles McGee, right, a Tuskegee Airman during World War II, participates in the coin toss before the NFL Super Bowl 54 game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Back in 1967, before it was even dubbed Super Bowl I, retired Air Force Col. Charles McGee, of Bethesda, Maryland, was serving in Vietnam, after already fighting in Korea and as a Tuskegee Airman in World War II.

Now, during Super Bowl LIV, McGee took part in the ceremonial coin toss at midfield.

Over the course of a 30 year military career, McGee flew 409 fighter combat missions, more than any other U.S. serviceman.

He watched as the San Francisco 49ers won the toss.

McGee flew 136 combat missions in World War II, as part of the Tuskegee Airmen, the only African-American pilot squadron in the war.

When he turned 100, in December 2019, McGee told WTOP he attributed his longevity to “thinking positive and the good Lord’s many blessings.”

With a lifetime of service to his country, McGee downplayed his contributions: “We human beings are just one small aspect in a mighty grand world.”

Retired Tuskegee Airman Air Force Colonel Charles McGee spoke with WTOP’s Kristi King in December 2019, when he turned 100 years old: 

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2020 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

Federal News Network Logo

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up