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Author Topic: William "Sam" Magee's FSSF Living History information and Memoirs  (Read 2227 times)
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« on: January 12, 2013, 08:17:02 PM »

William "Sam" Magee's FSSF Living History information and Memoirs



Dear FSSF family and friends,


In a conversation with Sam Magee today we discussed the vast amount of information about WWII and the First Special Service Force he has collected in his personal library and how it can be preserved shared with everyone.


I have known Sam for well over 35 years but only discovered our Force connection a few years ago.


As a young boy I was fortunate to be able to spend time with my Great-Grandmother Brown. On the wall in her living room there were two portraits of my Great-Uncles, William "Bill" and Norman "Duke" Brown. Both were killed in action during WWII. Bill was KIA in Germany with the Queens Own Rifles of Canada and Duke, a Paratrooper, KIA in Italy, this was all that was ever said.


Around 2004-2005 while doing some family research my cousin discovered that Uncle Duke was a member of the 1st Canadian Paratroop Battalion who had trained at Fort Benning and then transferred to the 2nd Canadian Paratroop Battalion (renamed the First Canadian Special Service Battalion) the Canadian component of the First Special Service Force.


My Great-Grandmother did not talk much about the boys, one because it was difficult and the other, she did not know any details. I for some strange reason always had an interest in the photos of my Uncles, especially Duke, I now had this little bit of info from my cousin to go on and the quest for answers began.
I came across an advertisement in the newspaper about a local veteran from the First Special Service Force who was going to be speaking to the local historical group about his experiences of WWII, this I could not miss!


As I sat and listened there was a strange feeling that something was very familiar about this man, William "Sam" Magee, but I could not put my finger on it at that moment.


Well it turns out that, Yes there was a connection, "Liz" Magee the wife of "Bill Magee" as I knew him, had worked with my mother for close to 20 years!
 
Coincidence? or is it the power of the Force and the seemingly odd connection that unites us all that we may carry on the legacy of the First Special Service Force and pass it along to our generation.


"Sam" and I have discussed a proposal that I become his liaison or secretary for his collection of WWII and FSSF material. I have accepted the task of helping to digitally catalog this information and work with him in order that this material be available to be shared and distributed in the future.


Over the next several months we would like to compile a list of contacts of FSSF members and their families as well as the living history groups and museum or archives who would like to access this information. I am sending out this group mailing and ask that it be passed on to anyone with FSSF connections that you know of, eventually I will be your "go to guy" for any material that Sam has to share.
 
There is a unique bond between the FSSF veterans, their families and the families like mine who's relatives did not make it home. It is a feeling which I can only describe as a "Family" and I feel that it is important that this material be available to those men and women who have served and are presently serving in our Forces, Canadian and American so they may know the history and pride of those who served before them.


It is also important this information be available to teachers and students, re-enactors and history buffs, if the story is not told and there are no artifacts to been seen or held then all will be forgotten. How many times have you heard a family member say " Dad never talked much about that stuff " and how many of us now are searching for answers? I know if I had been able to piece together the connection with Sam all those years ago there were men alive at that who were on patrol with my Uncle on the night of February 29th 1944. Those men would have had some answers to the questions our family asked for the past 68 years.   
 
We all have something to share which tells a piece of the history of the Force. Anything from a letter, a photo or a story, whether it be from the past or present they are all important, there is always someone who has not seen, read or heard your information about the Force.
 
I know that Sam has a great deal of information and material as well as many connections around the globe and I hope I will be able to help him with the distribution of that information to all who are interested.
 
Please get back to me with your contact information and forward this email to anyone you believe may be interested or benefit from this material.If possible I would also like to put a mailing list together of all the remaining men of the Force, the Original members and or their widows who are still with us, any help with that would be greatly appreciated.


In your response could you please indicate your connection or interest in the FSSF eg. Veteran, Family, Historian, Presenter, History Buff or Collector which will help me to get you the relevant material.
 
Thank You,


Sincerely,
 
Keith MacKay
 
k.mackay@xplornet.ca
 
7755 Old Scugog Road
Enniskillen Ontario Canada
L0B1J0


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