John Preston McGee was Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was born on December 27, 1924 to Helen and Preston McGee. He had four sisters, and became the man of the house at an early age when his father died. He left school early to help support his family; working in retail until he volunteered for the draft for WWII.
When they asked for volunteers for the Rangers, he stepped forward. He was accepted because he spoke German thanks to his grandmother. John became a member of Company C, 5th Ranger Battalion.
John McGee wrote home using the camp's stationery that had an image of a forest ranger tower on a mountainside. Because of that stationary, his grandmother assumed that he was going to be a forest ranger. No one corrected her; but when his grandmother found out the truth he paid the price.
His first day of battle was D-Day, June 6th, when they climbed the cliffs of Normandy. God was with John from that day and until the Battle of the Bulge. He never put in for a Purple Heart even though he could have; he said he saw too many hurt worse than he.
John's decorations and citations include European Africa Middle Eastern medal with 4 battle stars with 1 bronze arrowhead, Unit Citation with oak leaf cluster, Good Conduct Medal and Bronze Star.
When John returned he continued working in retail, working his way up to Produce Manager. He would give the produce that was not sellable but eatable to people on the street.
Through two marriages, John helped raise a total of 15 children. Thanks to his children, John became a USMRA member in the fall of 2005. He died in the Saint Augustine, Florida on October 4, 2005.