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Thomas B. McGuire, Jr.

Born: August 1, 1920, Ridgewood, New Jersey
Died: January 7, 1945 (age 24), Killed in Action at Negros Island

Thomas B. McGuire, Jr. - Trivia powered by ABEThomas 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 flight training?

  • 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, Texas.

  • Fact or Myth?

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 Force?

  • 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?

  • 3 weeks
  • 6 weeks
  • 9 weeks

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 ace.

  • Fact or Myth?

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 wingman?

  • 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


  • 1. Randolph Field, Texas
  • 2. Aleutian Islands and Alaska
  • 3. Fact
  • 4. Lt Gen George Kenney
  • 5. August 18, 1943
  • 6. 6 weeks
  • 7. Charles Lindbergh
  • 8. Fact
  • 9. Captain Ed Weaver
  • Angels on your pillow10. Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia

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