Howell McGinnes

First Lieutenant Lawrence Howell McGinnes
U. S. Army Air Forces

April 15, 1924 - April 10, 1945
Cedarvale Cemetery
Bay City, Texas

Gold Star Mother Carrie Jane Gilmore McGinnes

- Honor Roll - 
487th Bomb Group

Lawrence Howell McGinnes

Pecos, Texas May 23, 1944, Lawrence Howell McGinnes received his silver wings today when he graduated as a Second Lieutenant from the Advanced Two-Engine Pilot School, at Pecos Army Air Field, it was announced by Col. Orin J. Bushey, commanding officer.

The new pilot, a former resident of Alvin, Texas completed a course in training in twin-engine aircraft. He was assigned to Pecos from Lemoore, California.

He is a former student of Markham High School, Markham, Texas; Texas A & M College, College Station, Texas. Pecos Army Air Field , a station of the AAF Training Command, is located in the historic trans-Pecos area of west Texas.

The Daily Tribune, May 29, 1944


Word has been received here of the promotion of Lieut. Lawrence Howell McGinnes from second lieutenant to the rank of first lieutenant in England.

Lt. McGinnes is pilot on a B-17 and is the holder of the Air Medal. His crew has been chosen as lead crew in a group of several planes. He is the son of the late Mrs. L. P. McGinnes of Markham and was a graduate of the Markham High School and was a student of mechanical engineering at A. & M. College at the time he entered the army. He has been overseas since about the 1st of January of this year, and has participated in 13 missions over enemy territory. He received his promotion several days prior to his 21st birthday.

The Daily Tribune, April 18, 1945


      First Lieut. L. H. McGinnes was killed April 10 in Germany, the war department has notified his brother, V. R. McGinnes, 211 Cayton. Flying the lead plane in a B-17 group, Lieutenant McGinnes, 21, and his engineer rode the flak-riddled ship to the earth after the rest of the crew had parachuted to safety. A graduate of Markham high school, he was attending Texas A. & M. College when he joined the air force in 1943. Holder of the air medal, he was on his fifteenth mission with the Eighth air force in England when shot down. The son of the late Mr. and Mrs. L. P. McGinnes of Markham, Lieutenant McGinnes is survived by two other brothers, V. C. and L. B. McGinnes, and a sister, Miss Willie Mae McGinnes, all of Alvin.

Houston Post, June 5, 1945


      Lt. L. H. (Howell) McGinnes was killed in action over Germany on April 10th. The first report received was that he was missing in action on April 10th. As long as it was missing in action his family and friends were hopeful, but the War Department has confirmed his death and notified his brother V. R. McGinnes, 211 Cayton Ave., Houston, Texas that he was killed in action.

      Lt. McGinnes was on his 15th mission when his plane was hit with flak over Gardelegen, Germany only about 40 miles from his target. All members of the crew parachuted to safety except Lt. McGinnes and his Engineer and they went down with the ship. In a letter from the Co-pilot of the ship, to V. C. McGinnes, Alvin, Texas, in which he states that his parachute landed near the plane and that the bodies of Lt. McGinnes and the Engineer were buried in Gardelegen, Germany by German civilians.

      Lt. McGinnes had been a resident of Matagorda County practically all his life, having moved with his parents from Gonzales County, when he was about one year of age, and settled in the Markham Community. He graduated from the Markham High School with the class of 1941-42 and was attending Texas A. & M. College when he joined the Army Air Force in 1943.

      The news of his death, five days before his 21st birthday, was a shock to his family and all his friends, because he was loved by all who knew him. Before he left for overseas duty he was looking forward and longing for the time to come when he could get over there in the middle of the fighting. He had completed 14 successful missions and was Pilot on the leading plane of a B-17 group on his 15th mission when he met his death. Another one of our boys to pay the supreme sacrifice for the cause of Liberty and Freedom.

      He is survived by one sister, Miss Willie Mae McGinnes of Alvin, and three brothers, V. R. McGinnes of Houston, V. C. and L. B. McGinnes of Alvin. His host of friends in Matagorda county extend to the bereaved brothers and sister their heartfelt sympathy and join them in their great grief and sorrow.    

Matagorda County Tribune, June 14, 1945

The 487th Bomb Group's target on 10 April 1945 was the airfield at Briest, Germany, northwest of Brandenburg. This was a base for German Me 262 jet aircraft. The 487th Bomb Group dispatched four Squadrons of B-17s on this mission. Pilot 1/Lt Lawrence H. McGinnes led the high Squadron in B-17G 44-8808, with air leader Major George M. Richmond flying in the copilot seat. There was heavy flak during the bomb run, which McGinnes' ship survived. After bombs away, the formation was flying west toward the rally point when it was attacked by German fghters. B-17G 44-8808 came under heavy fire from Me 262 jet fighters which set the plane on fire. Lt McGinnes and T/Sgt James V. Henderson (flight engineer) were unable to escape the burning aircraft and were killed. (Army Air Forces Missing Air Crew Report 14196)

B-17G 44-8808 837th Bomb Squadron
McGinnes, Lawrence H. 1/Lt Pilot KIA
Richmond, George M. Major Air Leader POW
Kremler, Frank J. 2/Lt Navigator POW
Lopez, George E. 2/Lt Bombardier POW
Irving, Brice L. 1/Lt Mickey [radar] Operator POW
Henderson, James V. T/Sgt Engineer KIA
Layton, William H. T/Sgt Radio Operator POW
Child, Richard P. S/Sgt Waist Gunner POW
Lowe, John E. S/Sgt Waist Gunner POW
Brill, Murray A. 2/Lt Copilot/Tail Gunner POW

Courtesy of Paul Webber


We, the friends and relatives of Lt. L. H. McGinnes, who met his death in defense of his country and where reburial rites were recently held at Markham, pause to pay our respects. To us he was "Howell," a fine youngster we watched grow into manhood.

Here in Markham, among friends he knew and loved, and who loved him, Howell spent his school days. Days that went swiftly by until 1942 found him graduating from high school. Being a diligent worker, Howell attained a high scholastic average, and he also excelled in school athletics.

After graduation, this young man proudly stepped into a higher field of learning. Going to A. and M. College, accompanied by one of his classmates, Wayne Hicks. For one short year, these two shared and enjoyed the ups and downs of college freshmen. Then time struck a pleading note, which echoed across our fair land and college life was abandoned by Cadet McGinnes as he answered the call of his country, by joining the Army Air Corps.

Howell's military training took him many places. First, he went to Texas Tech at Lubbock, for Pre-flight, and was in class 44-E. Then to Sasta, California, where he got his classification and on to 29 Palms, California for primary training. After that, he took basic at Lemoore, California. Then back to Pecos, Texas, for advanced training before going to Hobbs, New Mexico for Transitional. Then to the joy of his family, Howell came home for a brief stay before going to Dyersberg, Tenn., and on to Lincoln, Nebraska, where he received his overseas orders. At last, he settled down in jolly old England, (quote from his letter) and there, Lt. McGinnes became a pilot, in 487 Bomb Group, 837 Bomb Sq. Eight Air Corps, stationed near Cambridge, England.

From medals awarded Lt. L. H. McGinnes by his country, it seems that Howell's high school motto, "He serves most who serves best" was observed throughout his military career.

As we look back, we think of others from Markham who served their country with gallantry and paid the supreme sacrifice: Capt. Donald A. "Totsy" Kilpatrick, son of Mrs. Ada Johnson, Pvt. Ignace "Dick" Senkyrik, son of Mr. and Mrs. I. Senkyrik, Hollis Reed, U. S. N., son of Mr. and Mrs. Bob Reed, Cpl. Carl Rush, son of Mr. E. T. Rush and Mrs. Sallie Rush Hogue.

A few words of tribute to the memory of these boys who gave all to help freedom live.

We remember with kindness and loving fidelity in our hearts; and we shall cherish and do our utmost to always keep that which you left in trust with us.

Mrs. G. C. McElrath

The Herald, July 28, 1949

Mrs. L. P. McGinnes

Mrs. L. P. McGinnes, age 56 years, 4 months and 16 days passed away in a Houston Hospital Monday night at 10:45 after an illness of some duration.

She is survived by one daughter Miss Willie Mae of Markham, four boys, V. R., Houston; V. C. and L. B., Alvin; L. H., U. S. Army, stationed at Lubbock. Four sisters, Miss Willie Gilmore, San Antonio; Mrs. J. I. Alford, Waelder; Mrs. Sam Caldwell, Bee Bee, Texas; and Mrs. Bennie Caldwell, Nixon. Four brothers, W. F. Gilmore, Turnerville; J. D. Gilmore, Coryell City; Frank Gilmore, Turnerville; H. B. Gilmore, Austin, several nieces and nephews, three grandchildren.

Funeral services were held from the Baptist Church at Markham, Texas, Wednesday morning, at 10 o'clock with Rev. M. A. Treadwell officiating, burial in Cedarvale Cemetery. Funeral arrangements under the direction of Matchett-Newman Funeral Home.

Matagorda County Tribune, June 17, 1943

L. P. McGinnes

Mr. L. P. McGinnes, who lived about four miles northwest of Markham, died very suddenly at the home of Luther Robertson of Markham, Sunday night, about 9 p.m. Mr. McGinnes had been visiting in Markham and came to the home of Mr. Robertson and complained of feeling bad and asked for a glass of soda water. He was given this and afterwards felt some better. He was asked to lie on the bed and rest and after about an hour's time he passed away.

Mr. McGinnes is survived by his wife, five children and three brothers.

Funeral services were held this Tuesday morning with burial in Cedarvale Cemetery under direction of Walker-Matchett Funeral Home, Rev. C. B. Ray officiating.

Matagorda County Tribune, August 17, 1933



Copyright 2006 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Jan. 30, 2006
Jun. 21, 2011