For Love of Country Annual Gala 2018
Saturday, December 8, 2018
Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum
Colonel Charles E. McGee
Colonel Charles E. McGee is one of three original Tuskegee fighter pilots to have fought during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. He completed 409 fighter combat missions, the highest three-war fighter mission total of any aviator in the history of the United States Air Force.
McGee began his flying career in 1942 when he enrolled in flight training at Tuskegee Field, Alabama. He flew his first combat mission on 14 February 1944, conducting coastal and tactical patrols over Italy. During World War II, he completed 136 combat missions flying the P-39Q Airacobra, P-47D Thunderbolt, and P-51 Mustang, escorting B-24 Liberator and B-17 Flying Fortress bombers over Germany, Austria, and the Balkans.
Heroically, Charles McGee flew low-altitude strafing missions over enemy airfields and rail yards, with the mission on 23 August 1944 as his most memorable. While escorting B-17s over Czechoslovakia, he engaged German fighters and singlehandedly took out a Focke-Wulf 190.
Despite relentless racial discrimination and bias, the Tuskegee Airmen flew 200 bomber escort missions against some of the most heavily defended targets in the Third Reich, compiling an exceptional combat record. In the face of the prevailing discrimination, McGee decided to transition to maintenance officer after the war. However, everything changed in 1950 when he received orders to the Philippines. With the Korean War looming, the newly formed United States Air Force had a renewed interest in pilots who had flown the Mustang, re-designated as the F-51.
In spite of a six-year hiatus from the cockpit, McGee jumped into the F-51 and traveled to Johnson AFB, Japan. McGee completed his 100 mission-tour untouched. It took another 13 years for McGee to fight in another war, this time in Vietnam. He transitioned to the RF-4C Phantom to conduct reconnaissance missions, yet found himself in the fight of his life when the North Vietnamese launched the Tet Offensive.
From his location in Saigon, only McGee and four other pilots were available to fly escort missions. For three straight days, the Phantom pilots escorted bombers until relief arrived. After 173 missions in Vietnam, McGee returned stateside he accomplished one of the most important moments in his career: he took command of Richards-Gebaur AFB in Belton, Missouri. "I always wanted this task, so on June 24, 1972, I got my opportunity and with it a key to the city of Belton, the same place that denied me housing less than two decades before."
McGee has been an ambassador of The Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. for over 33 years and is recipient of the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Air Medal.
Colonel Clarence Emil "Bud" Anderson
Clarence Emil “Bud” Anderson is a retired Air Force Colonel, a Triple “Ace” in World War II. During WW II he served two combat tours escorting heavy bombers over Europe in the P-51 Mustang from Nov 1943 through Jan 1945. He flew 116 combat missions (480 hours) and destroyed 16 and 1/4 enemy aircraft in aerial combat and another one on the ground. He has an extensive flight testing
background spanning a 25 year period and served as a Commander of an F86 Squadron in post war Korea, Commander of an F-105 Wing on Okinawa, two assignments to the Pentagon, and served in Southeast Asia where he was Commander of the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing. His awards include 2 Legion of Merits, 5 Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star, 16 Air Medals, the French
Legion of Honor and the French Croix de Guerre, as well as many campaign and service ribbons In 2015 at a special White House ceremony, Col. Bud Anderson was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor along with his fellow American Fighter Aces.
Captain Tammie Jo Shults
Tammie Jo Shults (née Bonnell; c. 1962) is an American commercial airline Captain and retired naval aviator. Known for being one of the first female fighter pilots in the U.S. Navy. Following active duty service, she subsequently became a pilot for Southwest Airlines. On April 17, 2018, as Captain of Flight 1380, she safely landed a Boeing 737-700 after the aircraft suffered an engine failure with debris causing a uncontrolled decompression of the aircraft.
Shults grew up on a ranch near Tularosa, New Mexico. As a child, she watched jet aircraft from nearby Holloman Air Force Base practice dogfights and maneuvers in the skies above her home. Watching these and reading about a missionary pilot, Nate Saint, inspired her to become a pilot too. During her final year of high school, she investigated the possibility of a career in flying but was told that there were no professional women pilots.
Following high school graduation, she attended Mid-America Nazarene College where she earned degrees in biology and agribusiness, graduating in 1983. While at MidAmerica, she met a woman who had qualified as a pilot for the U.S. Air Force and decided to see if the Air Force would accept her application for service. After being turned down by the Air Force, she decided to try the Navy while doing graduate studies at Western New Mexico University.
OCS and flight training
Shults was accepted by the Navy for Officer Candidate School at Naval Air Station Pensacola. Following the twelve-week course and being awarded a commission as an Ensign on June 21, 1985, Shults went into flight training at NAS Pensacola. She trained to fly in the T-34 and qualified to get her pilot’s wings.
Naval aviation instructor
After Pensacola, Shults was billeted at Naval Air Station Chase Field where she became a flight instructor for the T-2 Buckeye. She later qualified in the A-7 Corsair II with training (RAG) squadron VA-122 at Naval Air Station Lemoore. [Her next assignment was with VAQ-34, a Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron at the Pacific Missile Test Center located at Point Mugu, California. After transfer of the squadron to NAS Lemoore in 1991, Shults became an instructor and was under the command of CAPT Rosemary Mariner, the first woman to command an operational air squadron. When the squadron transitioned from the EA-6B Prowler to the F/A-18 Hornet, Shults received her qualification in the new aircraft, becoming one of the first female naval aviators to do so.
David Price – Master of Ceremonies
Dave Price, a weather anchor for NBC 4 New York, has forecasted and reported onsite from natural disasters from around the country and the world. Price has had a first-person view of some of the most momentous events of our time including on-air coverage as the tragic events of September 11 unfolded, inside the Superdome in New Orleans enduring Hurricane Katrina, Haiti following the earthquake that ravaged the country, the oil spill in the Gulf Coast, operating bases from Afghanistan to Iraq. He was on site covering Presidential Inaugurations, sports championships, and the Thanksgiving Day parade. He has flown with the Blue Angels, canoed down the Amazon in Ecuador, ridden Harley Davidsons in the Australian Outback – and pretty much everything in between. He's won four Emmy awards and a Gracie award for his work on-air.
Price transitioned to broadcasting later in his life. Armed with a bachelor's degree in Industrial & Labor Relations from Cornell and a master's degree in Organizational Psychology from Columbia, he spent almost a decade as a human resources executive with Pepsi-Cola, Texaco and Taco Bell. Making a life change, he sought to bring gripping stories to the public. He is an active volunteer with the Fairfield County Inner-City Foundation, the advisory board of the Africa Foundation, moderates United Nations General Assembly panels on entrepreneurship in developing nations and on international migration issues. One of his most cherished volunteer efforts is his longstanding involvement entertaining U.S. troops serving overseas. For over a decade Price has traveled to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Djibouti and military installations around the globe to do stand-up comedy for the troops during the holiday season.
Price, a native New Yorker, is a certified scuba diver, licensed pilot and avid photographer. Price and his wife Jacqueline live in New York City with their son Eli, daughter Caroline and their adopted golden retriever Wally.
Ford Island is a Military Installation and as such requires Military Identification to enter the base. If you do not have Military Identification please be prepared to provide your Full Name, Date of Birth, and last four digits of your SSN for yourself and each guest not possessing Military Identification or notify JoBeth Marihugh at 808-892-3345 / JoBeth.Marihugh@PearlHaborAviationMuseum.org NO LATER THAN NOVEMBER 15, 2018.
The mission of Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum is to develop and maintain an internationally recognized aviation museum on Ford Island that educates young and old alike, honors aviators and their support personnel who defended freedom in the Pacific Region and to preserve Pacific aviation history.
Phone: (808) 892-3345
Historic Ford Island, 319 Lexington Boulevard, Honolulu, Hawaii 96818