Maryland World War II veteran participates in Super Bowl coin toss

Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Charles McGee, a Tuskegee Airman and a decorated veteran of three wars, waves after landing in a Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet to help celebrate his 100th birthday at Frederick Municipal Airport on Dec. 6, 2019.

A World War II veteran from Bethesda who served with the Tuskegee Airmen participated in the coin toss before Sunday night’s Super Bowl.

Retired Col. Charles E. McGee, a 100-year-old World War II veteran who completed 136 combat missions with the Tuskegee Airmen, was part of the coin toss ceremony as the NFL honored the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.


McGee was joined by Retired Staff Sgt. Odón Sanchez Cardenas, Lt. Col. Samuel Lombardo and Cpl. Sidney Walton.

In this Dec. 6, 2019, file photo, retired U.S. Air Force Col. Charles McGee, a Tuskegee Airman and a decorated veteran of three wars, flies a Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet with assistance from pilot Boni Caldeira during a round trip flight from Frederick to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. McGee, 100, who flew 136 combat missions in World War II as part of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, participated in the coin flip before the Super Bowl on Sunday night, with help from three other centenarians from the war.

Born in Cleveland in 1919, McGee joined the Army on Oct. 26, 1942, and joined the Tuskegee Airmen, the first group of black military pilots in the Armed Forces, after he earned his pilot’s wings in June 1943, the NFL wrote in a news release.


Now a resident of Bethesda, McGee served for 30 years in the United States Air Force and recently celebrated his 100th birthday, according to a release from Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen and Maryland Rep. Anthony Brown.

McGee received an honorary promotion in December after Van Hollen and Brown introduced legislation to change his rank from colonel to brigadier general.