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Skytrain

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  1. Here is the Preface There have been countless books published on WW2 pilots of fighters, bombers and troop carrier aircraft. One group that has largely been overlooked is that of combat cargo and medical evacuation flyers. These men and women pioneered, on a large scale, what became “medevac.” As the Allies were driving across Europe after D-Day, the job of supplying the needs of gasoline, combat cargo and evacuating wounded was an overwhelming task. Many of these young pilots were pulled from Troop Carrier Command because they were highly trained in C-47 operations. They were placed into the 27th and 31st Air Transport Groups under the 302nd Transport Wing, Air Service Command, USSTAF. They flew unarmed to makeshift landing zones on the front lines, unloaded gasoline or cargo, and loaded wounded that had to be evacuated regardless of weather conditions. They were often under fire during these critical operations. These groups also performed countless other non-combat transportation of VIPs, POWs, emergency operations and even a secret operation in Sweden. They played a vital role in the Battle of The Bulge, flying in replacements to the front lines. They also had many interesting assignments including transporting the Glenn Miller band. My dad was one of these pilots. I grew up hearing his stories and those of his buddies in the 27th Air Transport Group. I became their historian in the 1990s and wrote their unit history. My dad, Joe Maguire, passed in 2016 and I realized that his stories needed to be preserved as a vital part of WW2 history. I had made a number of recordings of him and I also had a number of his stories ingrained in my mind. I have told his stories in his words and placed historical context around them to form his military biography. Joe D. Maguire was awarded the DFC, Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters, and the French Légion d’Honneur. He was credited with 35 combat missions and had roughly 1000 theater hours in the ETO. Note: The Douglas C-47 aircraft was affectionately known as “Gooney Bird” to those who flew her.
  2. Many in the collecting community commented over the years that they felt like they knew my dad because of his photos in the Silver Wings, Pinks & Greens books and in the flight jacket books (written with John Conway). Many suggested that I write his story. My latest book, Gooney Bird Driver, published by Elmgrove Publishing, (Mick Prodger's company) is now available from the publisher or on Amazon. It chronicles dad's military biography and the missions that led to his DFC, Air Medal w 6 OLC and the French Legion d'Honneur. Much of it is written in his own words, as he told me over the years. I hope you enjoy getting to know him a little better. The book also covers the 27th Air Transport Group, 302nd Transport Wing, Air Service Command, USSTAF as they supported Patton's drive across Europe, after D-Day, with combat cargo and medical evacuation. Their story has been virtually overlooked.
  3. One thing (of many) that USSTAF did was to organize combat cargo, aircraft delivery, medevac, etc. on a theater basis in the ETO. They supported the Allied drive across Europe. Under USSTAF, Air Service Command, 302nd Transport Wing, the 27th and 31st Air Transport Groups performed many of these missions. There is a unit history of the 27th available from Schiffer if you are interested in pursuing it. They had some administrative control over 8th and 9th AF. They directed ops for the Berlin Airlift. It is little known, but some elements went to Guam to prepare for the invasion of Japan.
  4. While this wing is similar in style to the Fleischman wing in More Silver Wings, the detail is much less crisp. The Fleischman wing is also pin back with a drop in style catch. I would bet this is a lost wax casting of a a real wing.
  5. Hello Gentlemen, This wing is shown in Volume 2 (More Silver Wings, Pinks & Greens on page 66, # G8. It does not say it was used in WW1. It says "This pattern was popular in the 1930s and is seen also in World War II era photographs. This example is not marked, but does have the "snowflakes" back somewhat common on prewar insignia."
  6. Many knew my dad, through his photos in my books. American Flight Jackets Airmen and Aircraft (with John Conway), Silver Wings, Pinks & Greens, Gear Up!, etc. He was a great dad and will always be my hero. I'll see him again before too long. Until then - Blue skies dad! Joe D. Maguire, 92, passed away January 24, 2016, in Oklahoma City. He was born October 5, 1923, in Oklahoma City to Harvey and Mary Maguire and was the youngest of three brothers. He married Jeanan Joyce on June 12, 1944, at Sedalia Army Air Field, Mo., and the couple celebrated their 71st anniversary in 2015. Maguire graduated from Central High School in Oklahoma City and enlisted in the US Army Air Corps on Nov. 24, 1942, graduating from Pilot Training at Frederick Army Air Field, Okla. As a pilot during World War II with the 321st Transport Squadron, 27th Air Transport Group, 302nd Transport Wing of the United States Strategic Air Forces, Maguire flew 35 combat missions and accrued approximately 1,000 flight hours during 12 and a half months overseas. Flying a C-47 type twin-engine aircraft, Maguire was on active duty April 15, 1944, to Dec. 9, 1945, and fought in Central Europe, Rhineland and Northern France/Ardennes. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters, the European African Middle Eastern Theater Service Medal, the American Theater Service Medal, the Victory Medal and France’s Legion of Honor. Following the war, Maguire served in the USAF Reserve, and was honorably discharged in March of 1959 as a Captain. Maguire attended Oklahoma City University on the GI Bill, graduating with a degree in Business and a Minor in Economics. He worked in oil field supply, as an agent in the insurance industry, as a Business Relocation Specialist at Oklahoma City Urban Renewal and as an appraiser for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He was a long-time member and Deacon at First Baptist Church, Oklahoma City. Maguire is survived by his wife, Jeanan; daughter, Jana McNeill and husband, Steve; son, Jon Maguire and wife, Rhonda; granddaughter, Kelly McConnell and husband, Matt; granddaughter, Kathleen Miller and husband, Ryan; grandson, Sean Maguire and fiancée, Stephanie; granddaughter, Megan Tiberg and husband, Chris; great granddaughter, Madelyn McConnell; great grandson, Owen McConnell; great grandson, Tyser Tiberg; and great grandson, Elijah Miller. Joe was a man of honor, a patriot and dedicated family man. His life’s goal was to please his Savior, Jesus Christ.
  7. No plans for another book - It's nice to see the High Wycombe and Strout jackets again. Are they in a collection now? JM
  8. It is with deep sadness that I inform you of the passing of my dear friend Lt. Colonel Robert P. "Paddy" Walker, USAF (Ret). His name may be familiar as he wrote the foreward to More Silver Wings, Pinks & Greens, and he is featured prominantly in Silver Wings & Leather Jackets, by Maguire. "Paddy" was also remembered in Piercing the Reich, by Persico, The Men Who Flew the Mosquito, The Bedford Triangle, Mosquito Photo-Recon Units of WW2, by Bowman and Glory Days by Samuel - to name a few. He was in every sense of the word, a hero. Walker flew missions in WW2, The Berlin Airlift, The Korean War, The Cuban Missle Crisis and finished his career in The Nam at the age of 42. He ended his career on his last flight in an RB-66 that was hit by a SAM. He was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart for that mission. He won two of his DFCs flying OSS missions in WW2. He was a warrior, a man of honor and a friend in every sense of the word. God bless you Paddy.
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