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Maj Thomas Buchanan McGuire, Jr

Maj Thomas Buchanan McGuire, Jr

Ridgewood, Bergen County, New Jersey, USA
Death 7 Jan 1945 (aged 24)
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section 11, Grave 426-SH, Map grid O 14.5.
Memorial ID 2207 · View Source
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World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He served during World War II in the United States Army Air Corps, rising to Major in the 13th Air Force, and as commander of the 431st Fighter Squadron. He was awarded the CMOH for his bravery over Luzon, Philippine Islands, on December 25 and 26, 1944. His citation reads "He fought with conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity over Luzon, Philippine Islands. Voluntarily, he led a squadron of 15 P-38's as top cover for heavy bombers striking Mabalacat Airdrome, where his formation was attacked by 20 aggressive Japanese fighters. In the ensuing action he repeatedly flew to the aid of embattled comrades, driving off enemy assaults while himself under attack and at times outnumbered 3 to 1, and even after his guns jammed, continuing the fight by forcing a hostile plane into his wingman's line of fire. Before he started back to his base he had shot down 3 Zeros. The next day he again volunteered to lead escort fighters on a mission to strongly defended Clark Field. During the resultant engagement he again exposed himself to attacks so that he might rescue a crippled bomber. In rapid succession he shot down 1 aircraft, parried the attack of 4 enemy fighters, 1 of which he shot down, single-handedly engaged 3 more Japanese, destroying 1, and then shot down still another, his 38th victory in aerial combat. On 7 January 1945, while leading a voluntary fighter sweep over Los Negros Island, he risked an extremely hazardous maneuver at low altitude in an attempt to save a fellow flyer from attack, crashed, and was reported missing in action. With gallant initiative, deep and unselfish concern for the safety of others, and heroic determination to destroy the enemy at all costs, Maj. McGuire set an inspiring example in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service." During the war he scored a total of 38 victories over Japanese aircraft, a number bested only by Major Richard I. Bong's 40 victories. He was in pursuit of more victories when his plane crashed in a dogfight at Negros Island in the Pacific on January 7, 1945, and he was instantly killed. In 1949 his remains were found at the crash site, and he was interred in Arlington National Cemetery. Today McGuire Air Force Base in his native state of New Jersey is named in his honor. His Medal was posthumously awarded to him on March 7, 1946.

Bio by: Russ Dodge

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2207
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Maj Thomas Buchanan McGuire, Jr (1 Aug 1920–7 Jan 1945), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2207, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .