Last Known Activity
Garland McGregor, Jr was born in Florence, South Carolina on August 24, 1924. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Garland McGregor, Sr. The family moved to Greenville when he was 5 years old, and he spent his youth there. He attended and graduated from Greenville High School. In 1941 he enrolled at Clemson University in Chemical Engineering. In the summers, he was employed by the J.E. Sirrine Company.
He was called to active duty in February 1943, and took basic training in Miami Beach, Florida. He then went to a college detachment in April 1943 for training at Furman University. In July 1943, he was sent to the Classification Center in Nashville, Tennessee, where he was classified as a pilot trainee.
He underwent flying training at Maxwell Field, AL; Douglas, GA; Cochrane Field, GA, and Napier Field, AL where he was commissioned and awarded wings in May 1944. He was then sent to the 359th Fighter Group for further training, and in January 1945, deployed overseas with this unit.
The unit was stationed at East Wretham (Station 133) Airfield, England. Here, he was assigned to the 370th Fighter Squadron, and began flying escort and fighter sweep missions. On February 23, 1945, while returning from a relay mission, he became separated from his leader in inclement weather. He was forced to fly low and utilize instruments in order to fly.
Lt McGregor became disoriented and crashed into the ground some 3 miles from his airfield. He was killed. Reports state he was buried in England on March 2. His body was returned at some point, and today he lies in the Woodland Memorial Park in Greenville, South Carolina in Section Q.
Greenville News newspaper (issue of 3/19/45, p 19)
Lt Garland McGregor was piloting P-51D # 44-14129, unnamed, and assigned to Lt. Henry D. Semple, when he was killed.
No Missing Air Crew Report was filed because he was recovered, but a USAAF Accident Report was filed, verifying pilot, aircraft, and details of the crash.
Records of the 370th Fighter Squadron refer to a P-51D # 43-6926 that was lost on the same day and supposedly flown by Lt. McGregor. Outside of this reference, there is no record found that supports this. The pilot's name in this crash (and that of the other P-51) is given as Garland J. McGregor. Lt. McGregor had no middle name or initial, so the assumption must be made this is an error in the 370th Fighter Squadron records.
Service photo source: