My Wife recently received an old photo album of her late Father,
J. Udall Magee.
He was a U.S. Navy Medic on Saipan and then
We knew his Brother Roland Magee tradically died in
a motorcycle wreck in the 40's but knew nothing much more
about his Brother Roland.
This newpaper clipping was in the photo album revealed he
was an 8th. Air Corps Gunner on a B-17.
This knowledge got my interest so the afternoon
was spent digging into archives and data bases.
With only his name and the date he was shot down
I started my search to find out more about Roland.
I began my search by looking for B-17's shot down on the
given date of April 5, 1943.
Numerous data bases are available. Finding numerous B-17's
lost in april 1943
I recorded each aircraft serial # and then researched the
U.S. Air Forces Aircraft Serial Number data bases.
Every aircraft designated for Military use is logged
on the data base...
sometimes some are not listed, or listed incorrectly.
Eventually I found he was a member of the 308th. Bomb Group.
With this finding I searched the "MACR"'s
(Missing Air Crew Reports) for the Group.
Eventually the "MACR" was located and more
details began to emerge.
The earliest MACR listed S/Sgt. Magee as "Dead", but that was later
amended as "Wounded" after he was captured and interned
as a POW.
The newspaper article listed him as a "Ball Turret Gunner",
but other documents listed him as the "Tail Gunner".
The "MACR" listed the B-17 Aircraft Serial Number as "42-24465".
Searching the Air Force Data Base I found that Aircraft # 42-24465
was not delivered to the Air Corps until after April 5th. 1943
so something was awry.....looking at the data base again
I checked Aircraft # 41-24465 and found the proper aircraft.
I've found conflicting information in the past so this didn't