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VETERAN OF THE MONTH
Gen. Seth McKee
Retired Gen. Seth McKee was born in 1916 in McGehee, Arkansas. He was 100 and died Dec. 26 in Scottsdale, Arizona, according to the citing McKee’s wife, Sally.
He began his military career in 1935 as a member of the Missouri National Guard, and his career as an aviator in 1938. McKee graduated from flight training in February 1939.
McKee, who began his military career in 1935, logged more than 190 hours in 69 combat missions in the P-38 Lightning, and is credited with downing two enemy aircraft. He flew cover for the D-Day invasion and was involved in bombing missions at Saint-Lo, the Falaise Gap and the Battle of the Bulge.
After World War II, McKee held positions of increasing responsibility both at home and overseas. McKee served in Florida, California, Alabama, Italy, Georgia, Nebraska, South Dakota and the Pentagon. He also served as commander of U.S. Forces Japan and Fifth Air Force before being appointed assistant vice chief of staff of the Air Force in 1968.
McKee’s career culminated at NORAD, where he served from 1969 to 1973.
He retired in 1973 as commander of the North American Air Defense Command.
His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with 10 oak leaf clusters, as well as awards from countries such as France, Belgium, Thailand, Japan and South Korea.
Just two months ago, McKee was awarded the National Order of the Legion of Honor in the rank of Chevalier 5, according to the Air Force. That’s the highest honor France bestows on its citizens and foreign nationals.