Thomas B. McGuire, Jr.
Born: August 1, 1920, Ridgewood, New Jersey
Died: January 7, 1945 (age 24), Killed in Action at Negros
Buchanan McGuire Jr. was the second highest scoring American ace
during World War II, whose memory was preserved by the naming of McGuire
Air Force Base in Burlington County, New Jersey.
What do you know about Tomas B. McGuire, Jr.? Ace this quick quiz.
1. McGuire was born in Ridgewood, New Jersey, on August 1, 1920. He
and his mother moved to Sebring, Florida in the late 1920s and McGuire
graduated from Sebring High School in 1938. He enrolled at Georgia Tech
and joined Beta Theta Pi but left after his third year to join the U.S.
Army Air Corps in 1941. Where did he get his wings after finishing his
- Randolph Field, Texas
- Luke Field, Arizona
- Roswell Field, New Mexico
2. During World War II, his first combat assignment was flying
patrols in a P-39 Airacobra while assigned to the 54th Fighter Group.
Where was the assignment?
- Aleutian Islands and Alaska
- Hawaiian Islands
- Puerto Rico
3. Returning to the United States in December 1942, he married
Marilynn Giesler, a student at Incarnate Word College in San Antonio,
4. In February 1943 he reported to Orange County Airport, California
for transition training in the P-38 Lightning. In March 1943, he was
sent to the South Pacific as a P-38 Lightning pilot with the 49th
Fighter Group, Fifth Air Force. Who was the commander of the Fifth Air
- Lt Gen George Kenney
- Lt. Gen Robert McKay
- Lt. Gen Mark Reynolds
5. McGuire was part of a group flying top cover for bombers striking
at Wewak, New Guinea. Nearing their target, the fighters were attacked
by Japanese aircraft. During the battle, McGuire shot down two Ki-43
"Oscars" and one Ki-61 "Tony." On the following day,
near the same location, he downed two more Oscars. This established him
as an air ace in two days, after undergoing a frustrating year of
apprenticeship with no opportunities to engage the enemy. What was he
date of his first plane shot down?
- August 18, 1943
- August 18, 1944
- August 18, 1945
6. McGuire's career nearly came to an end on October 17, 1943.
Without hesitation McGuire dove into the seven enemy fighters and
quickly shot down three. Unfortunately the remaining four Zeros were
able to attack McGuire and severely damage his aircraft. McGuire decided
to bail out but as he exited the aircraft he found his parachute harness
had snagged on something in the cockpit. Escaping at the last moment, he
received numerous injuries. How long was his hospital stay?
7. A civilian contractor bunked with him for a time and flew as his
wingman on several unauthorized missions, and was credited with one
aerial kill. Who was the civilian contractor?
- Charles Lindbergh
- Eddie Rickenbacker
- Ed Grable
8. On December 25-26 1944, McGuire downed at least seven Japanese
fighter aircraft in just two days over Luzon, Philippines. He was only
two victories behind Major Richard I. Bong, the USAAF’s all-time top
9. It was January 7, 1945, McGuire was leading a group of four P-38s.
Unfortunately for McGuire and his flight, the Japanese pilot, Warrant
Officer Akira Sugimoto, was an instructor pilot with thousands of hours
in that type of aircraft. To help his wingman, McGuire made himself the
target. Sugimoto came after him. As Sugimoto approached from behind,
McGuire rapidly increased his turn rate. This extremely dangerous
maneuver, performed at only 300 feet above the ground, caused McGuire's
P-38 to stall. It snap-rolled to an inverted position and nosed down
into the ground. McGuire was killed on impact. Who was McGuire's
- Captain Ed Weaver
- Major Jack Rittmayer
- Lieutenant Douglas Thropp
10. Where is Thomas B. McGuire, Jr. buried?
- Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia
- Springfield National Cemetery, Springfield, Missouri
- Calvary Cemetery, Evanston, Illinois