Thomas Buchanan McGuire, Jr.
1 AUG 1920 / 7 JAN 1945

With 38 aerial victories, he was headed out on a mission which could possibly tie him with Dick Bong for the title of "Ace of Aces" -- America's highest scoring combat pilot.  Sadly, he never made it back from that mission, and Dick Bong's title stood (and still stands to this day).

The materials below will give you a good sense about Tommy McGuire, one of America's most skilled pilots. (We use different vendors for different items. For shopping options, click here.)


Medal of Honor, Posthumously
Distinguished Service Cross
Silver Star with 2 OLC
Distinguished Flying Cross with 5 OLC

Air Medal with 14 OLC

BOOKS

NEW!
Aces High - The epic "Battle of the P-38 Aces"
The Last Great Ace
McGuire Air Force Base
Twelve to One

 

ARTWORK
Panel Reproduction - Pudgy
(Tommy McGuire's P-38)
U.S. Aviation Aces

LIMITED-EDITION PRINTS
A Pair Of Aces
 

BIOGRAPHY ARLINGTON BURIAL SITE
 

B O O K S
 
ACES HIGH
By Bill Yenne
 

They were two of the greatest heroes of World War II. But only one could be top gun...

Capturing the hearts of a beleaguered nation, the fighter pilots of World War II engaged in a kind of battle that became the stuff of legend-and those who survived showdowns earned the right to be called aces. But two men in particular rose to become something more. They became icons of aerial combat, in a heroic rivalry that inspired a weary nation to fight on.

Richard "Dick" Bong was the bashful, pink-faced farm boy from the Midwest. Thomas "Tommy" McGuire was the wise-cracking, fast-talking kid from New Jersey. What they shared was an unparalleled gallantry under fire which earned them each the Medal of Honor.

What separated them was a closely watched rivalry to see who would emerge as the top-scoring American ace of the war. What they left behind is a legacy and a record of aerial victories that has yet to be surpassed anywhere in the world.


 

THE LAST GREAT ACE: The Life of Major Thomas B. McGuire, Jr.
by Charles A. Martin

 

The first book ever about the life of Major Thomas B.McGuire, Jr., one of this country's most decorated soldiers of all time. McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey, is named for America's number two all-time ace. 

He was awarded America's highest awards, including Congressional Medal of Honor, Dist. Service Cross, six Dist. Flying Crosses, three Silver Stars, three Purple Hearts, 14 Air Medals and others in two years of WWII combat. He died in closing days of the war saving a wingman's life. Book contains a never-before published letter from Charles Lindbergh to McGuire's widow. Lindbergh had befriended McGuire, flying combat with him in SW Pacific. Book includes 50 photographs.
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McGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE
Images of America
By G. W. Boyd

   

Named after Tommy McGuire and intended as home base for reconnaissance aircraft and support for nearby Fort Dix Army Base, McGuire Air Force Base actually hosted many Air Force firsts and became, and still serves as, the Force's principal aerial port on the East Coast. This volume details the base's decades - through hundreds of photos and with text by the base's historian. 128 pgs., 200+ photos
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"Twelve to One" V Fighter Command Aces of the Pacific
Aircraft of the Aces Vol. 61
By Tony Holmes

 

Holmes, ed. This book includes the never-before-available-to-the-public USAAF manual for new pilots heading to the Pacific Theater of Operations to face the Japanese. In addition to the training document, you also get biographies of contributing pilots such as Dick Bong, John McGuire and others who discuss the performance of P-38s, P-40s and other fighters. 128 pgs., 90 B&W photos, 36 color profiles, 7"x 9", sfbd.
   

A R T W O R K
 
A Pair of Aces -- Bong and McGuire  


A PAIR OF ACES
By Stan Stokes

   

The two top-scoring American aces of WWII, Richard Bong and Tom McGuire, are depicted here in their P-38 Lightnings. Both of these highly decorated aces were killed before the war's end.

16"x 11" limited edition print.
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Pudgy - Thomas McGuire's P-38 Nose Art Reproduction
 

PANEL REPRODUCTION - PUDGY (Tommy McGuire's P-38)
by Gary Velasco

   

Reproduction of Maj. Thomas B. McGuire's nose art from "Pudgy IV." Maguire flew for the 431st Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group and scored 38 victories, second only to Maj. Richard Bong. Maguire's favorite fighter was the P-38, and this art is from the 4th of his 5 P-38s. The yellow kill tally box did not appear until after he arrived in the Philippines.
30"x 22" panel comes ready to hang.
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U.S. Aviation Aces 1/35 Metal Figures (Including Bong)

 

Meticulously detailed and painted by hand, these 1/35 scale metal figures represent four of America's greatest World War II aces: USAAF Majors Dick Bong and Thomas McGuire, USAAF Lt. Col. Francis "Gabby" Gabreski, and U.S. Marine Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington. Perfect for display or for adding to a World War II diorama, each figure measures approximately 2" tall.

 

 

B I O G R A P H Y
 


MAJOR THOMAS BUCHANAN "TOMMY" McGUIRE, JR.
Major, United States Army Air Corps
 

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Born on August 1, 1920 at Ridgewood, New Jersey, he grew up there and in Sebring, Florida.

He graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1941 and enlisted in the Army Air Corps, completing his aviation training and received promotion to Captain early in 1942.

After service in the United States and Alaska he was ordered in March 1943 to the 49th Fighter Group of the 5th United States Air Force, then operating in the Southwest Pacific Area and in particular providing an early air screen for Darwin and Northern Australia. Subsequently he was transferred to the 475th Fighter Group, 13th Air Force, where he won promotion to Major.

He was already a leading ace with a record of 31 Japanese planes shot down when he volunteered on December 5, 1944 to lead a squadron of P-38s on a bomber escort mission over Mabalacar Airdrome on Luzon, Philippines. He shot down 3 of 20 Japanese Zero fighters that attacked his squadron. The next day, on a similar mission over Clark Field, near Manila, he exposed himself in order to draw fire away from a crippled bomber and shot down 3 of the 4 fighters that were attacking it. Another score on his way home that day brought his total to 38. On January 7, 1945, while leading a flight of four P-38s over Los Negros Island, he attempted a highly-dangerous maneuver in order to aid a comrade who was losing an encounter with a Japanese Zero and crashed.

He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in March 1946 for his actions on December 25-26, 1944 and January 7, 1945. His score of 38 enemy kills made him the second leading American fighter pilot of World War II, following Major Richard Bong. McGuire Air Force Base in his home state of New Jersey was named in his honor.

INFO FROM ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY WEBSITE

tombstone-mcg.jpg (14647 bytes) McGuire is buried in Section 11 of
Arlington National Cemetery.
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ENLARGE


These materials are available from different sources.  We've tried to give you the option that is the best price, but to do that each store will have separate shopping carts. However, each vendor has it's own store on our site. If you'd rather purchase from that section, click one of these links (these materials are also available there).

P-38 Association

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