New on View: Charles Magee's Skydiving Helmet

The yellow skydiving helmet of Charles W. Magee is displayed on a gray surface at the Museum. The helmet has a camera attached to the top of it and a white chin strap below.
This skydiving helmet with camera belonging to Charles W. Magee is now on view in the 9/11 Memorial Museum's In Memoriam gallery. Collection 9/11 Memorial Museum, Gift of Janet Magee in memory of my husband Charlie Magee. Photo by Michael Hnatov.

Charles W. Magee was born and raised in Brooklyn. He served in the military as a parachute rigger in the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division during the Vietnam War. After his service, Charles continued to skydive for more than 10 years. Charles was also the chief operating engineer for Silverstein Properties with an office on the North Tower’s 88th floor.

To take photographs of other skydivers during jumps, Charles outfitted a helmet with a camera rigged to the top, complete with a handheld button. Spending more time in the sky, Charles and his wife, Janet, bought a plane and spent their weekends flying up and down the East Coast. On 9/11, Charles was seen helping evacuees on the 46th floor.

Janet and Charles Magee together in front of their plane. Collection 9/11 Memorial Museum, Gift of Janet Magee in memory of my husband Charlie Magee.

After Charles’s death, Janet learned to fly. She donated his helmet to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in memory of her husband. The helmet is currently on view in the 9/11 Memorial Museum’s In Memoriam gallery. Artifacts included in the gallery reference the hobbies, writings and drawings of those killed in the 1993 or 9/11 attacks.

By 9/11 Memorial Staff 

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