October 18, 1928 (Norwalk, CT) – July 19, 1951; 22 years old
Last local address: 402B Washington Village, South Norwalk
Service number: 1911864
Korean War Project Key No: 19499
Unit: 452nd Bomb Wing, 729th Bomb Squadron
Born to John L. (1901-1940) and Agnes E. Woodward McGuinness (1903-1971). One brother, Donald (1933-2009).
Awarded the Air Medal and Purple Heart Medal
Lt McGuinness’s status with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency is “Deferred.” The definition is “cases are assessed to have no new and/or viable leads, or have restrictions to site access which make field operations impractical.”
First Lieutenant McGuinness was the co-pilot of a B-26B Invader bomber with the 729th Bomber Squadron, 452nd Bomber Wing. On July 19, 1951, while on a night intruder mission, contact was lost with the aircraft between Kunu-ri and Kanggye, North Korea. He was listed as Missing in Action and was presumed dead on December 31, 1953. From dpaa.mil, “last contact at 07/19/1951 0320 hours inbound to reconnaissance route Purple-5. Friendly fighter aircraft conducted Search and Rescue (SAR) effort, results negative. Also lost on this mission were 1st Lt Raymond Alfred Decker of Gary, Indiana and Airman First Class John William McNulty, of Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Posted on koreanwar.org by John B. McGuinness, nephew, August 8, 2007
“My name is John B. McGuinness I was named after my uncle by his brother Donald P. McGuinness I never met my uncle Jackie but I have always heard he was a wonderful man. 52 years after he went missing the whole family went to Arlington National Cemetery and the Air Force did a full military honors burial for him, I will never forget that day. If anyone served with my uncle, contact me.”
From The Norwalk Hour July 20, 1951
Second Lieutenant John B. McGuinness, son of Mrs. Agnes McGuinness of 402 Washington Village, has been reported missing in action over Korea, according to a telegram received by his mother Thursday night. Lt McGuinness was a bomber pilot in Korea. No other details were given other than that he was reported missing in action July 19. Lieutenant McGuinness received his commission as an Air Force officer and pilot at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma in December of 1950. He enlisted in the Air Force’s pilot training program on November 7, 1949, after serving in the Asiatic-Pacific theater during World War II with the Naval Seabees unit. Before entering military service, he attended Junior College of Connecticut, now the University of Bridgeport, following his graduation from Norwalk High School.
Memorialized at Arlington National Cemetery, Section MC, Grave 24-L. Date of death on the stone is the day he was declared dead, not the day his plane went missing.