JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. –
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy issued a letter today remembering the “life and legacy” of Maj. Thomas B. McGuire, Jr., World War II hero and one of the U.S. military’s most decorated fighter pilots. Members of Civil Air Patrol presented the letter to U.S. Air Force Col. Wes Adams, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and the 87th Air Base Wing commander.
The purpose of ‘Maj. Thomas McGuire Jr. Remembrance Day’ is to honor the American hero as well as remember the valor and sacrifices of all U.S. military men and women. Members of Civil Air Patrol plan to hold the remembrance event each year on McGuire’s birthday, Aug. 1. This year would’ve been the Army Air Force ace pilot’s 102nd birthday.
Civil Air Patrol Cadet 1st Lt. Kaya Kraft read Murphy’s letter to a gathering of military personnel and Civil Air Patrol members on Joint Base MDL.
Murphy stated, “We commemorate the life and legacy of Major Thomas B. McGuire Jr. while paying tribute to all United States military service men and women who have given so much throughout history to protect the freedoms we enjoy [today].”
During the meeting, several Civil Air Patrol cadets including Cadet 2nd Lt. Allyson Kittel discussed the American hero’s life of duty, courage and honor with Adams. McGuire was credited with 38 aerial victories, the second-highest total in U.S. history. He received the Congressional Medal of Honor for combat in the WWII’s Pacific Theater.
Born in New Jersey, McGuire died when his P-38 Lightning crashed as he tried to save an American pilot who was under attack by an enemy fighter. McGuire Air Force Base at Joint Base McGuire Dix Lakehurst was dedicated in his honor in 1949. In addition, the Civil Air Patrol Squadron at JB MDL – The Maj Thomas B. McGuire Jr. Composite Squadron -- was established in 1965.
Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is a member of the Air Force’s Total Force. For more information about the Maj. Thomas B. McGuire Jr. Composite Squadron visit our website: http://mcguire.cap.gov/.