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DFC Society Makes 100 Year Connection

A Legacy from WWI to WWII to Today

On October 3, 2020, the DFC Society presented WWII "Tuskegee Airman” (And DFC Society Member) Brigadier Charles McGee with a plaque thanking him for his outstanding example as well as participating in the OGTA Debrief live interview.

Byron Derringer, the great grandson of the first and only DFC Recipient from WWI (Captain James Ely Miller), presented the gift to Brigadier General McGee on behalf of the DFC Society.

When asked of the significance of the moment, Derringer wrote:  

As a descendant of my Great Grandfather Captain James Ely Miller (who I never met), the first aviator KIA in WWI, the first and only Distinguished Flying Cross recipient from WWI, who’s oil painting hangs in my living room in military dress, I am reminded and honored to think of American military sacrifice daily.  I was never in the military, but yet, I have the utmost respect and admiration for the ones who serve.

When the DFC Society asked me to present a DFC Society shadow box to Brigadier General Charles McGee, I was humbled and honored.  Brigadier General McGee and I are both residents of Bethesda, Maryland.  Therefore, during this time of social distancing, I donned gloves and a mask and drove over to his house to meet with him and his daughter, Yvonne.


I would lie to you if I said that I was not a little nervous, I think this is normal.  It’s humbling to appreciate the many paths Brigadier General Charles McGee has taken and through them all, remained a strong example of the things that Americans value.   Such amazing character and determination - they are the foundation for our great nation.


As it turned out, the moment, though brief (out of respect to the safety and health of the General and his family) was a very nice experience.  We had great weather, I was able to take a lot of photographs, and most importantly pass on the sincere appreciation from The Distinguished Flying Cross Society to Brigadier General McGee in person.  If you didn’t know any better, you would never realize that Brigadier General McGee was 100 years of age.

DFC Society, thank you again for the honor and privilege to help provide your appreciation to a great leader, role model, American hero, and quite simply just an amazing person!  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, as his daughter is as well.