The Last Great Ace
Who Was McGuire?
Book Introduction
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About Author
Author's Note
Lindbergh Photo
Richard Bong Photo

On a gray overcast morning in 1945, a small air battle broke out over the remote island of Negros, in the Philippines. It was an unlikely fight. Two Japanese planes, coming from different directions--unaware of each other--tangled with four American P-38 fighters. In a few minutes two Americans died and the rest of the combatants flew from the scene.

Much more happened in a few minutes than you could imagine. One American, Major Jack Rittmayer, was shot down, while his friend Major Thomas McGuire made a dangerous maneuver to save the life of his wingman Ed Weaver. Weaver escaped but the violent maneuver by McGuire, which drove off the Japanese, resulted in McGuire falling to his death. In that moment America lost two of its finest young men.