WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Rep. Scott Franklin (FL-18), introduced legislation to rename a Sebring, Florida post office after Major Thomas McGuire, a combat pilot killed in action during World War II.

“As a Naval Aviator who flew combat missions all over the globe, I am proud to introduce a bill to name a post office after a hero like Maj. Thomas McGuire,” Rep. Franklin said.  We are losing more and more of our greatest generation vets like McGuire everyday. This bill will help immortalize his legacy for future generations and ensure we honor his sacrifice in defense of our liberties.”  

McGuire was born on August 1, 1920 in Ridgewood, New Jersey, although He and his mother moved to Sebring, Florida in the late 1920s. McGuire graduated from Sebring High School in 1938 and enrolled at the Georgia Institute of Technology to study aeronautical engineering.  During his time at Georgia Institute of Technology, he played in the marching band and a sergeant major in the ROTC cadet corps. After his third year in college, he left to enter the U.S. Army Air Corps Aviation Cadet Program on July 12, 1941. Major McGuire became a top scoring combat pilots in U.S. history with a total of 38 enemy planes destroyed to his credit in World War II.

January 7, 1945, McGuire took off for the final time from Dulag Airfield to lead a group of four P-38s on a fighter sweep in the central Philippines. McGuire's flight proceeded to an airstrip referred to as Carolina in Manapla, Philippines. As they approached, they were confronted by a lone Ki-43 Oscar, which immediately engaged McGuire's flight. In an attempt to save another pilot in his team from attack, Major McGuire risked an extremely hazardous maneuver at low altitude, crashed, and was reported missing in action. He was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1947 for his heroic actions to save his wingman’s life.

Locals witnessed McGuire’s crash and rushed on scene to protect his body from capture, but it was not until 1949, the U.S. Army recovered his remains. On May 17, 1950, McGuire was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.  Nearly 60 years later a memorial was placed at the site of his crash. With gallant initiative, deep and unselfish concern for the safety of others, and heroic determination to destroy the enemy at all costs, Maj. McGuire set an inspiring example in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service.

House original cosponsors include: Rep. Diaz-Balart (Fl-26); Rep. Posey (FL-08); Rep. Donalds (FL-19); Rep. Buchanan (FL-16); Rep. Bilirakis (FL-12); Rep. Waltz (FL-06); Rep. Rutherford (FL-05); Rep. Steube (FL-17); Rep. Frankel (FL-22); Rep. Salazar (Fl-27); Rep. Bean (FL-04);Rep. Cammack (FL-03); Rep. Luna (FL-13).