Tom McGuire's Most Exciting Mission...

Discussion in 'Stories' started by lesofprimus, Sep 24, 2004.

  1. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    I am copying this directly from a book I have here, The Great Book of WW II Airplanes...
    Alot of typing here...

    During the give and take air battles to and from Rabaul in Oct 43, McGuire (Mac from here on out) flew what he remembered as his most exciting mission...

    On Oct 17th, the 431st FS of 475th FG met a Jap formation head on at 23,000 ft... On the first pass, Mac got a Zeke and was promptly jumped from behind by 3 more... Getting seperated from his flight, he was left with one course of action - dive away... Going down to 12,000 ft, he felt as if he were on a huge circular stage: Zekes all around but not a single P-38... Nothing to do but fight it out...

    Both Mac and the enemy exchanged numerous passes... Spotting a smoking Lightning, he attempted to help, but was bounced by a flock of fighters... He turned into the formation and engaged... One Zeke blew up, then another... With 3 for the day, it was time to leave, but before he could bank away, the instrument panel disappeared under enemy fire, the left engine broke into flames, and a 7.7 mm round hit him squarely in the wrist... Instrinctivly, he pushed foward on the yoke to get away, going straight down... The then right engine began pouring black smoke and a 20mm round exploded in the cockpit, hitting the yoke...

    The rear of the canopy flew off and 5 pieces of shrapnel entered his arm and leg... The -38 was out of control, giving no response to Mac's movements... Only one fear crept into his mind, "Boy, will Nick be sore at me!!!" (He was flying Maj Franklin A Nichols' plane)...
    Trying to get out, Mac became wedged halfway - the oxygen mask was firmly attached over his eyes as the wind tore at him.... Kicking like crazy, he finally came sailing out after falling 5,000 feet... Find the rip cord - it was gone, torn off!!! Another 5,000 feet was gone before he found the D-ring wire trailing behind...

    At 800 feet, Mac yanked the wire, the chute deployed and he hit the water... Getting away from the chute and harness, he inflated his rubber dinghy, but it was full of bullet holes and sank away... As he was going under, a PT boat picked him up and got him to the hospital...

    On November 1st, just 2 freakin weeks later, a group of 20 P-38's flew in to Tacloban air field on Leyte, which badly need more fighters... Suddenly a Japanese Tojo fighter appeared... Mac opened up the P-38 full throttle, hit the gear and flap levers, sounded a warning to other pilots, and swung around to face the Tojo... In full view of the Tacloban airstrip, the P-38 pilot attacked and shot down the intruder with one short burst.... The Tojo crashed in flames just outside the field. Finding no other Jap planes, the P-38 pilot circled and landed....

    The man really was a hell of a pilot...

    Mac climbed down from his beloved Pudgy V and grinned... He had just shot down his twenty-fifth Japanese aircraft.... "This is my kind of place. You have to shoot down Japs to land on your own field..."

    McGuire was the commander of the 431st Fighter Squadron of the 475th Fighter Group... The pilots of the 431st felt that McGuire could do things in a P-38 that were virtually impossible... His skill with the P-38 was so extraordinary, he almost defied reality.... He had tremendous faith in his skills as a pilot and the plane he flew....
     

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  2. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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    cool 8) hell of a pilot, hell of a plane...
     
  3. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    I think he was a superb pilot, probably the best -38 pilot ever... He flew that plane like no one else could have...

    Would have been the leading American Ace if he didnt crash with drop tanks into the jungle...
     
  4. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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  5. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    He was one heck of a pilot, although I heard Dick Bong flew like the P-38 was an extension of his body. They were both amazing, not taking anything away from McGuire.
     
  6. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Even Bong was amazed at McGuires skill and handling of the -38...
     
  7. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Wow, that is pretty amazing. When Lindbergh was flying with McGuire's squadron (he was supposed to be an observer, helping them to find way to conserve fuel), Lindbergh got a Japanese plane on his tail that he couldn't shake. It was McGuire that came to his aid. McGuire splashed the fighter on Lindbergh's tail, so Lindy can thank McGuire for saving his bacon!
     
  8. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Lindbergh also had a couple of kills too...
     
  9. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I know about the one that he shot down from a P-38. What were the others?
     
  10. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    I'd have to research it some, but if memory serves me right, he had 3 kills.... I'll look into it ..
     
  11. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Wow! I only heard about 1. Of course, they are not "official", but they were confirmed kills. He was flying Corsairs with the Navy before he flew with McGuire. I wonder if he got any kills while flying the Corsair.
     
  12. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    So far all i've found is the 1 kill... On July 28th 1944, he shot down a Ki.51 (Sonia) light bomber while flying with the 475th FG...

    He most likely had some ground kills as well, as he did alot of strafing while in the cockpit...
     
  13. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I hadn't heard about the strafing attacks. He was supposed to be an observer. But I could imagine it would be difficult to fly a mission armed and ready and just sit idly by while the other guys have all the fun! ;)
     
  14. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Yes I have read several accounts of "Lindy" and strafing... He was told by General Kenney that he should not engage in aerial combat, but strafing would be ok....
     
  15. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    i wouldn't mind a spot of strafing some time, must be tons of fun..............
     
  16. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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    It is :D I derive a great deal of satisfaction from it :lol:
     
  17. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    Strafing is like asking a prostitute for sex. There's very little chance you're going to get shot down by what you're hunting.
     
  18. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    But what about being shot down by whats protecting what ur hunting????
     
  19. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    I know, in reference to the prostitute that might be the pimp, or whoremaster.
     
  20. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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