Lost Black Sheep

During my research on John Magee, I had found out that he was a cousin to Christopher Lyman Magee.  Chris was a member of the famed WWII Black Sheep squadron, becoming an ace with nine kills.

Since I have been putting together a family tree for John Magee, I wanted to know exactly how John and Chris were related.  So I read a couple of great books, one on the Black Sheep squadron itself: Once They Were Eagles: The Men of the Black Sheep Squadron by Frank Walton, and Lost Black Sheep: The Search for WWII Ace Chris Magee by Robert T. Reed.

Most of the specific information I got was from Reed’s book.  It’s an impressive story about a complex man.  I was very touched about the ups and downs of Chris’s life.  Chris has actually joined the RCAF just about the time John was shipping out overseas, mid-1941, and transferred to the Navy/Marine Corps a little later.  I wondered if Chris was inspired by what his cousin John had done, or was just eager to become a fighter pilot.  Both Chris and John flew a couple of the most advanced fighters of that time: the Chance-Vought Corsair and the Supermarine Spitfire, respectively.

Chris and John also shared a love of reading and writing.  Did they ever meet, I wonder?  If they did, I can’t help but wonder what the conversation would have been like…

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2 comments on “Lost Black Sheep

  1. Gary Dugan says:

    Hello,
    I have composed a musical setting of the “High Flight” poem. If you’re interested, you can here it here:
    http://garyduganmusic.bandcamp.com/track/high-flight

    Thanks very much!
    Gary Dugan

  2. Rudi Fischer says:

    While doing some research for a website I am designing, I came across your blog. You see I was researching for a URL http://www.highflight.com, but that was already by the US Air Force Academy Class of 1993. I then turned to other options and your site popped up. Your reason and my reason for this title are almost similar. You are looking to find more info about John Magee. I wanted to use the title because the poem by John Magee had a great influence in my life. You see I made that High Flight. Much higher than John could ever dream about. I just finished my book ‘Force of Fate – Letters to Oma’. I am one of a very small family of flyers who has seen the curvature of the Earth without being an astronaut. I am also blessed with 3 wonderful boys, one of which occupies his time making movies. He’ looking to make my book into a movie. So now it is up to me to push my writing to the public.
    All that said, I would be very interested in speaking with you about your thoughts, your project and your future.
    Thanks for your writings.
    Rudi Fischer
    53rd WRS Hurricane Hunters
    rudifischer@mchsi.com

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