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Capt John William Guckeyson

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Capt John William Guckeyson

  • Birth unknown Chevy Chase, Montgomery County, Maryland, USA
  • Death 21 May 1944 Germany
  • Burial Saint-Avold, Departement de la Moselle, Lorraine, France
  • Plot Plot K Row 30 Grave 12
  • Memorial ID 56655739

John served as a Captain, 375th Fighter Squadron, 361st Fighter Group, U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II.

He resided in Montgomery County, Maryland prior to the war.

John was "Killed In Action" during the war and was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, and a Purple Heart.

United States Military Academy Class of 1942
Captain John W. Guckeyson KIA
375th Fighter Squadron, 361st Fighter Group
Hometown: Chevy Chase Maryland
Service # O-024959
Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters

Biography gleaned from

John William "Bill" Guckeyson date of birth unknown was an American athlete and military aviator. He was the first University of Maryland football player selected in the NFL Draft. Guckeyson was killed in combat as a fighter pilot during the Second World War. Guckeyson was born in Chevy Chase, Maryland and graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in 1933. He attended college at the University of Maryland where he played football, basketball, and baseball, and ran track. In these athletic fields, Guckeyson compiled nine letters during his four years at Maryland. He set the school javelin throw record at 204 ft, 5 in (62.22 meters). In both 1935 and 1936, he was named an All-Southern Conference football player and an honorable-mention All-American. Upon graduation from Maryland, Guckeyson was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the sixth round of the 1937 NFL Draft, making him the first Maryland player ever selected. However, he turned down offers to play professional sports, and instead accepted a nomination to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point.

John W. Guckeyson graduated USMA in May 1942. In June, he began his primary flight training at Pine Bluff, Arkansas. There he met and courted Mary Petticrew. After basic training at Randolph Field and Advanced at McAllen, Texas, he went to Richmond, Virginia Army Air Base in April 1943. There he and Mary were married. In June, Bill was stationed at Langley Air Force Base, then for a short period at an installation near Millville, New Jersey, and next to a staging area near Washington, D.C. In November, he left New York for England.

In the spring of 1944, a news release in the Washington Star featured the fifth victory of the "Chevy Chase Thunderbolt pilot and former University of Maryland football star." Two of his first four had resulted from air engagements, and two involved destroying planes on the ground. In describing the fifth victory, the news release stated that Captain Guckeyson...was flying at 20,000 feet when he spotted a twin-engine Junkers 88 far below. He and his wing man spiraled down onto its tail...How we who knew him could have evoked that deep laugh of his by teasing him about the heroism of pouncing from the heights on that poor scared kid in the Junkers and shooting down a sitting duck!

His last mission on 21 May 1944 Guckeyson was reportedly killed on a strafing run on when his P-51 Mustang fighter was shot down in Stendal, Germany. At the time of his death, he had attained the rank of captain, his remains were interred in France. John W. Guckeyson member athletic Hall of Fame at the University of Maryland.

Gravesite Details Entered the service from Maryland.





  • Maintained by: Russ Pickett
  • Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
  • Added: 8 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 56655739
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Capt John William Guckeyson (unknown–21 May 1944), Find A Grave Memorial no. 56655739, citing Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial, Saint-Avold, Departement de la Moselle, Lorraine, France ; Maintained by Russ Pickett (contributor 46575736) .