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Ens Raymond John “Mac” MacGregor

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Ens Raymond John “Mac” MacGregor Veteran

Birth
Milford, Pike County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death
15 Jun 1943 (aged 25)
Rockport, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial
Milford, Pike County, Pennsylvania, USA GPS-Latitude: 41.3145065, Longitude: -74.8051147
Memorial ID
View Source
Raymond was a 1930 eighth-grade graduate of Union School in Dingman Township near Milford, Penna., where he had the highest GPA in his class of six, and a 1934 graduate of Milford High School, Milford, Penna. In 1939 he received a B.S. in commerce from Temple University School of Commerce, where he had one of the eight highest GPAs in his class.

With the start of WWII the MacGregors moved to 5626 Greenhill Ave., Baltimore, Md., to work in the war factories. Raymond then entered the U.S. Naval Reserve.

During the War, Raymond was stationed on the U.S. Naval Reserve Aviation Base in Philadelphia, Penna. Later as an ensign he served at Squantum (Mass.) Naval Air Station, where he received a diploma for mass formation (multiple planes flying together). He also received a diploma for chemical warfare at Edgewood Arsenal in Baltimore.

At Squantum, sometime on or after June 8, 1943, Raymond met decorated pilot Lt.(jg) Lloyd Dixon Hollingsworth Jr. It was decided Lt. Hollingsworth would fly Raymond on June 15 for a routine-training round trip from Squantum via Concord, N.H., and Portland, Me., on a Curtiss SOC Seagull, a scout/observation plane. The plane took off at 2 p.m.; the last radio contact was at 3:41 p.m.

The plane crashed in the ocean off Rockport, Mass. Raymond's remains were recovered early in the week of August 15 by a fishing trawler, "Mayflower" captained by Joseph Passanisi, two miles south of Thatcher's Island, near Gloucester, Mass. An unopened parachute belonging to that plane had previously washed ashore at Gloucester.

Lieut. J. R. Mulholland, one of Raymond's closest friends, escorted the body to Milford, where Raymond was buried with full military honors in Milford Cemetery on August 24. Every subsequent June nearest the date of Raymond's death, his parents and sisters placed a memorial notice in the weekly Milford newspaper, always signed, "Lovingly, Mother, Dad and Sisters."

A year before his death, Raymond wrote this letter on June 13, 1942, to Helen and Harold Steele, his aunt and uncle, from the U.S. Naval Reserve Aviation Base in Philadelphia:

Dear Aunt Helen and Uncle Harold--

Very glad to hear from you--was beginning to think the people up there also hibernated in the summer time.

Wish I could be up there helping you all with the farming. A couple months on the farm would be just the thing I need. One thing about aviation is that it is pretty hard on the nerves.

Not much excitement around here--just a helluva lot of work. We have had a number of crashes lately--two complete washouts. One of the boys is still in the hospital and will be there for the next 6 months. Can't imagine how he got out of it alive--spun in from 100 feet with the power full on. Guess that it wasn't just his time.

Have been doing quite a lot of passenger flying. To Washington, [?] Bennett, N.Y., Norfolk, etc. It makes for a nice change.

Tim Case stopped in at the Base the other day--quite a surprize [sic]. We have 12 cub aircraft and was in to see about them.

I haven't been commissioned as yet. It is definite that I will be, but this waiting is enough to drive one nuts. Still don't know where I will be sent. Will, of course, let you know.

Bill Mattes just completed the Primary Course with the Army with a very high grade. He is now at Basic School where they fly larger ships. He will probably be commissioned in October. From there, who knows?

Well, guess that's about all. Tell Aunt Mouse that she owes me a letter. My very best to the kids and tell Doug to join the Navy Air Corps when he finishes high school. You can do it now if the mental and physical exams are passed--it is the best air corps in the world.

Love,
Mac
Raymond was a 1930 eighth-grade graduate of Union School in Dingman Township near Milford, Penna., where he had the highest GPA in his class of six, and a 1934 graduate of Milford High School, Milford, Penna. In 1939 he received a B.S. in commerce from Temple University School of Commerce, where he had one of the eight highest GPAs in his class.

With the start of WWII the MacGregors moved to 5626 Greenhill Ave., Baltimore, Md., to work in the war factories. Raymond then entered the U.S. Naval Reserve.

During the War, Raymond was stationed on the U.S. Naval Reserve Aviation Base in Philadelphia, Penna. Later as an ensign he served at Squantum (Mass.) Naval Air Station, where he received a diploma for mass formation (multiple planes flying together). He also received a diploma for chemical warfare at Edgewood Arsenal in Baltimore.

At Squantum, sometime on or after June 8, 1943, Raymond met decorated pilot Lt.(jg) Lloyd Dixon Hollingsworth Jr. It was decided Lt. Hollingsworth would fly Raymond on June 15 for a routine-training round trip from Squantum via Concord, N.H., and Portland, Me., on a Curtiss SOC Seagull, a scout/observation plane. The plane took off at 2 p.m.; the last radio contact was at 3:41 p.m.

The plane crashed in the ocean off Rockport, Mass. Raymond's remains were recovered early in the week of August 15 by a fishing trawler, "Mayflower" captained by Joseph Passanisi, two miles south of Thatcher's Island, near Gloucester, Mass. An unopened parachute belonging to that plane had previously washed ashore at Gloucester.

Lieut. J. R. Mulholland, one of Raymond's closest friends, escorted the body to Milford, where Raymond was buried with full military honors in Milford Cemetery on August 24. Every subsequent June nearest the date of Raymond's death, his parents and sisters placed a memorial notice in the weekly Milford newspaper, always signed, "Lovingly, Mother, Dad and Sisters."

A year before his death, Raymond wrote this letter on June 13, 1942, to Helen and Harold Steele, his aunt and uncle, from the U.S. Naval Reserve Aviation Base in Philadelphia:

Dear Aunt Helen and Uncle Harold--

Very glad to hear from you--was beginning to think the people up there also hibernated in the summer time.

Wish I could be up there helping you all with the farming. A couple months on the farm would be just the thing I need. One thing about aviation is that it is pretty hard on the nerves.

Not much excitement around here--just a helluva lot of work. We have had a number of crashes lately--two complete washouts. One of the boys is still in the hospital and will be there for the next 6 months. Can't imagine how he got out of it alive--spun in from 100 feet with the power full on. Guess that it wasn't just his time.

Have been doing quite a lot of passenger flying. To Washington, [?] Bennett, N.Y., Norfolk, etc. It makes for a nice change.

Tim Case stopped in at the Base the other day--quite a surprize [sic]. We have 12 cub aircraft and was in to see about them.

I haven't been commissioned as yet. It is definite that I will be, but this waiting is enough to drive one nuts. Still don't know where I will be sent. Will, of course, let you know.

Bill Mattes just completed the Primary Course with the Army with a very high grade. He is now at Basic School where they fly larger ships. He will probably be commissioned in October. From there, who knows?

Well, guess that's about all. Tell Aunt Mouse that she owes me a letter. My very best to the kids and tell Doug to join the Navy Air Corps when he finishes high school. You can do it now if the mental and physical exams are passed--it is the best air corps in the world.

Love,
Mac

Inscription

RAYMOND J MACGREGOR
PENNSYLVANIA
ENSIGN U.S.N.R.
JUNE 15, 1943



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