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…