Last Known Activity
According to US Census documents, Martin S. McGinnis was born in 1917 in Memphis, Tennessee. He was a son of James B. and Aileen S. McGinnis. The US Census from 1920 to 1940 show the family residing in Memphis. He graduated from high school, then enrolled in 1935 at Notre Dame University as a member of the Class of 1939.
He enlisted in the US Army Air Forces on February 18, 1941, at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. His enlistment documents confirm nativity and birth year, as well as state he had completed 4 years of college. At the time of enlistment, he was employed as a construction foreman.
He received pilot training and was awarded wings and a commission. Presumably, he was then given advanced training in heavy bombers, as he next appears in the military annals as head of a B-17 combat crew in training at Savannah, Georgia in October, 1944.
He was deployed to England with this crew and flew on 19 credited missions, the first of which was on November 26, 1944. On January 13, 1945, the target was the railroad bridge at Mannheim, Germany.
Just at "bombs away," the aircraft was struck by flak, wounding both the pilot and the tail gunner. The wounded gunner helped McGinnis bail out, then jumped. The remainder of the crew all bailed out from the center fuselage.
German records show that all enlisted men landed safely, and were captured. The records list the three officers as dead. The exact circumstances of death are not available. The dead were buried in German cemeteries. Captain Martin was buried in the Laumersheim Community Cemetery.
After the war, his body was recovered and moved to the American (Lorraine) Cemetery in St Alvolds, France where he lies in Plot D, Row 32, Grave 34.
US Census 1920
US Census 1930
US Census 1940
NARA Enlistment Records
Captain Martin S. McGinnis was the assigned pilot on B-17G # 42-107099, nicknamed "Old 99," assigned to the 427th Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report was issued. Mission loading lists show the crew as:
Cpt Martin S. McGinnis p
2 Lt Frederick C. Doscher c-p
2 Lt Richard M. Emick nav
Sgt S.P. Simone tog
SSgt Robert J. Lyons eng/tt gun
TSgt Keith R. Muir r/o
Sgt Donald L. Beal btg
SSgt Lois R. Hamilton wg
Sgt Lowell F. Stevenson tail gun
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
In the crew photo (training), McGinnis is in the front row, at left.