P51C Tuskegee Signed By Charles McGee 1/24
Scale: 1/24 scale model
Wing Span: 18.25 inches
Length: 16.2 inches
The P-51C Mustang represents the ultimate in long-range fighter development in World War II, the aircraft that was finally able to escort bombers from bases in England to targets deep in Germany. This specific P-51 is painted as "Kitten," was flown by Tuskeegee Airman Charles McGee in 1944. McGee has personally signed this model.
The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African American military aviators in the United States armed forces. During World War II, African Americans in many U.S. states still were subject to racist Jim Crow laws. The American military was racially segregated, as was much of the federal government. The Tuskegee Airmen were subject to racial discrimination, both within and outside the army. Despite these adversities, they trained and flew with distinction. The Tuskegee Airmen initially were equipped with Curtiss P-40 Warhawks fighter-bomber aircraft, briefly with Bell P-39 Airacobras, later with Republic P-47 Thunderbolts, and finally the fighter group acquired the aircraft with which they became most commonly associated, the North American P-51 Mustang.
This handmade model is personally signed by one of the Tuskegee Airmen, Charles E. McGee. In March 1942, McGee was a sophomore at the University of Illinois studying engineering. On June 30 1943, after having earned his pilot's wings he became a part of the Tuskeegee Airmen. By February 1944, he was stationed in Italy with the 332nd Fighter Group. By the end of World War II, McGee had flown a total of 136 combat missions. McGee was a career officer in the United States Air Force for 30 years, he holds an Air Force record of 409 fighter combat missions flown in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. In 2005, McGee was part of a group of former Tuskegee Airmen, who flew to Balad, Iraq, to speak to active duty airmen serving in the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, the current incarnation of the 332nd Fighter Group.