MAAG, MORRIS PAUL, Second Lieutenant, # 0-742495, USAAF


2ndLt Morris P. Maag was born 5 August 1921, in Wray, Yuma County, Colorado, to George Maag (1880-1953) and Dorathea “Dora” Henrietta Clara (Walkermeyer) Maag (1884-1947). He married in 1942 before leaving for assignment and his wife was Earlena Frances (Buchanan) McPherson nee Maag (1921-2001). He had several siblings: Arthur O. Maag (1904-1981), Claude Cecil Maag (1906-1986), Clarence Edward Maag (1908-1968), Dale Delbert Maag (1911-1998), and Ralph Abbott Maag (1912-1982). He enlisted as an aviation cadet July, 1942, and received his wings and commission at Douglas, Arizona, 12 April, 1943. He may have died on or after 1 December, 1943, when the B-24J upon which he was co-pilot was shot down after a bombing mission over Insein, Burma. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Purple Heart posthumously. Brother Clarence E. Maag, born 23 August 1908, served in the U.S. Navy during WW II. Brother Dale D. Maag, born 25 July 1910, served in the U.S. Navy from 28 January 1944 and was a Lieutenant Commander. He is buried in Willamette National Cemetery, Portland, Oregon.

The Wray Gazette, 9 December 1943: "Lt Morris Maag Is Missing In Action In Asia," War Department Advises Relatives That Wray Youth is Missing Since Dec. 1. Second Lieutenant Morris Maag, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. George Maag of Wray, was reported as missing in action by a telegram to his wife, the former Earlena Buchanan, received at Wray Tuesday night. The message was telephoned to Mrs. Maag, who is now at Upland, California, by her mother that night. Lt. Maag is a favorite among Wray people and the news that he was missing has caused great concern here. In a recent letter to his parents from India, where he has been serving with distinction as a pilot in the Air Force, he told that he had completed more than 200 hours of combat duty, and that he was scheduled fro a vacation beginning on December 1. That was the day he was reported as missing.

He graduated from the Wray High school, attended Colorado State college at Fort Collins, and went into the army at about the time the war began. After several months in the regular army, he was selected for pilot training and returned to Wray to spend several weeks waiting his orders. After winning his commission and wings, he was assigned to the Asiatic area and has been serving with distinction there. Following is the text of the message received here Tuesday night: "The Secretary of War desires to express his deep regret that your husband, Second Lieutenant Morris P. Maag, has been reported missing in action since December 1 in the Asiatic area. If further details or other information are received you will be promptly notified. Adj. General."

The Wray Rattler, December, 1943: "Lt. Morris P. Maag Reported Missing In Action," ... Lt. Maag is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Maag of Wray. Mrs. Morris Maag went to Upland, Calif. several months ago to make her home, and Mr. Geo. Maag notified her immediately by long distance telephone of the message from the War Department. Morris, the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. George Maag, graduated from the Wray high school, where he took a prominent part in athletics, starring in football. He attended Colorado State at Ft. Collins. In December 1941 Morris entered the U.S. Army, and started his aviation training in the U.S. Army Air Corps in July 1942 receiving his pilot's wings at Douglas, Arizona on April 12, 1943. He was united in marriage with Miss Earlene Buchanan, eldest daughter of Mrs. Lena Buchanan, on June 1, 1942. On July 29th of this year the Liberator bomber "Burma Bitch," with Lt. Maag as co-pilot, took off from a Florida base for India where the crew began their combat duty. The entire community feels deeply the shock of learning that one of our finest young men is missing in action.

The Wray Gazette, 30 December, 1943: "Memorial Service is Held Here Tuesday Afternoon in Honor of Lieutenant Morris Paul Maag,"

On Tuesday afternoon the people of Wray, members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, service men home on furlough and members of the Maag family attended an impressive memorial service honoring the memory of the heroic youth at the Presbyterian church. Business houses closed for the service.