Lost Black Sheep: The Search for WWII Ace Chris Magee

Lost Black Sheep: The Search for WWII Ace Chris Magee

by Robert T. Reed
     
 

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Chris Magee was the leading ace under Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington of the Marine Corp's legendary Black Sheep Squadron. A free-spirited intellectual with the heart of a warrior and the soul of a poet, Magee grew up on Chicago's rambunctious South Side dreaming of the day when he could fly fighter planes into combat. Magee's determination to achieve his goal

Overview

Chris Magee was the leading ace under Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington of the Marine Corp's legendary Black Sheep Squadron. A free-spirited intellectual with the heart of a warrior and the soul of a poet, Magee grew up on Chicago's rambunctious South Side dreaming of the day when he could fly fighter planes into combat. Magee's determination to achieve his goal prompted him to join the Royal Canadian Air Force as a flying cadet in 1941. Later, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought America into the war, he transferred to the U.S. Marine Corps. Following completion of flight training, he was sent to the South Pacific where his bravery and piloting skills earned him both the enduring respect of his fellow aviators and the Navy Cross. When the war ended, the fiercely independent Magee refused to pursue a conventional lifestyle or take advantage of the fame that awaited him in his hometown, choosing instead to seek new adventures. During the next twelve years he walked the razor's edge: black marketeer, bootlegger, volunteer fighter pilot for the fledgling nation of Israel, courier for a covert group of U.S. "businessmen" involved in Latin American politics, and, eventually, bank robber. Magee would pay dearly for the choices he made, losing family, friends, and his cherished freedom. In his middle years, he turned his life around and became a respected journalist. By age 70, he had resigned himself to a stoic retirement in a rustic apartment on Chicago's North Side. Then, one day, Chris Magee found an envelope slipped under his front door with a note inside that ultimately changed his life, causing him to revisit parts of his past he thought were forever forgotten.

Editorial Reviews

Aviation-booklist.com
Lost Black Sheep makes an exellent addition to the growing library of books covering the adventures of 214 VMF, Greg "Pappy" Boyington's famous Black Sheep Squadron. However, this one stands apart as the most personal of the published accounts. Author Reed's quest to find the father he never knew is both profound and filled with questions of identity and purpose that once again manage to transcend the genre of "war book." Magee was the squadron's second highest scoring ace with nine confirmed "kills" (only Boyington scored higher). However, the real adventure occurs during Magee's post-war careers as mercenary, armed robber, inmate, and editor. Navy Cross winner, Magee, is at once a romantic and tragic figure, yet not entirely sympathetic. An intellectual at heart, his colorful life hints at something more behind this mortal veil. Lost Black Sheep is thought provoking on many levels and definitely appealed to my own middle-aged sensibilities. With the possible exception of Boyington, Chris Magee likely stands as VMF 214's one true Black Sheep. Recommended.
Midwest Book Review
Lost Black Sheep is a fascinating, superbly written biography of a very unusual American's unusal life.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781555716479
Publisher:
L & R Publishing, LLC
Publication date:
10/01/2006
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.54(d)

What People are saying about this

Losch
Just great...an excellent book that needed to be written. After almost sixty years, my hair still stands up straight when I recall those occasions I flew on Magee’s wing.--Fred Losch, Black Sheep Squadron
Bruce J. Matheson
...a fascinating story...told me things I knew and things I didn’t know, and things I had only suspected, about Chris.--Col. Bruce J. Matheson, Black Sheep Squadron

Meet the Author

Rober T. Reed earned a BA in Journalism from San Jose State University in California and served as a U.S. Navy journalist. Freelance credits include more than 100 published stories. He resides in Huntington Beach, California.

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