OSHAWA - William “Sam” Magee embodied the true spirit of a Canadian soldier.  Sam at age 91 died 18 Sep 2014 after his brave heart fought its final battle.


EAGER, PROUD , SELFLESS.    The retired army sergeant and combat hero was remembered Friday as a champion for his country and for countless children he helped through his volunteer work.The highly decorated serviceman’s life was celebrated with a full military funeral Friday at Col. R.S. McLaughlin Armoury in Oshawa. His casket was draped by a Canadian flag, topped by an array of medals on black velvet.

Magee’s son, Andy, 52, said his father “spent his whole life working to make things better for kids and for people in general.“He lived through the atrocities of war and he spent his whole life giving back to make the world a better place,” he added. “He never had more than $10 in his pocket because he always gave.”


Magee enlisted with the Ontario Regiment at age of 17 and later joined the Toronto Scottish Machine Gun Unit. He was transferred to the First Special Service Force in 1942 — an elite American-Canadian commando unit known as The Devil’s Brigade — and trained with paratroopers in Quebec.Magee battled the Japanese in the Kiska invasion of the Aleutian Islands in August 1943.In November 1944, while fighting in San Nicoli, Italy, Magee crawled on his stomach in the face of flying German machine gun fire to rescue two wounded comrades. He was later awarded the United States’ Silver Star for gallantry in action, to complement his U.S. Bronze Star.Magee and his unit also saw duty in Rome and France during Operation Dragoon.The First Special Service Force was awarded a U.S. Congressional Gold Medal earlier this year.Magee was awarded a host of Canadian service medals and in 2008, the Department of National Defence created the William “Sam” Magee Award, presented to a non-commissioned member of the Canadian Special Operations Regiment who exemplifies the qualities for which Magee is remembered.

This year, as Magee lay weak in his hospital bed, he received the honour of being Knighted by France.“He will be greatly missed,” said Lt. Tom McArdle, who met Magee through the Veterans’ Association. “He is one of the many under-recognized war heroes here in Canada.”The City of Oshawa is naming a street — Magee Ct. — after him inthe Park Ridge subdivision.Nancy Diamond, regional and Oshawa city councillor, knew Magee for over 20 years.“When I was Oshawa mayor, Sam arrived in my office like a whirlwind,” Diamond fondly remembered. “He had a plan for children and started VIK — Very Important Kids — which instilled self-confidence, leadership and teamwork.He was always organizing on behalf of the community with incredible energy and boundless goodwill. He was definitely a force to be reckoned with,” said Diamond.

Daughter Jennifer Magee said life with her father was always an adventure.“There was no such word as ‘can’t’ in our home,” Jennifer said. “Dad’s lessons were many. He believed people should learn something new every day. I love you Dad. You’re my hero, my friend, my mentor, the pillar of my life.”


DURHAM WEBSITE MAGEE, Sir William 'Sam' James, CD, OMC, SSM (USA), BSM w/V (USA), BSM (USA) -

“Devil’s Brigade”

At Lakeridge Health in Oshawa on Thursday, September 18, 2014 at the age of 91.

Beloved husband of the late Elizabeth (née Fiddes).

Loving father of Michael, Marci, Andrew (Shannon), Jennifer and predeceased by Paul. Devoted grandfather to Zoe, Kelly, Natalie, Kristine (Donald), Andrew Jr, Mark, Michael, Sawyer, Marlowe, and great-grandchildren Darwin, Stella, Ethan, Owen, Ava Lynne, Abel, Tayler and Landyn.

Brother of Aubrey Magee (deceased), Ellen Mongomery (deceased), Shirley Izon, Sheala Aggett and Jack Magee.

Predeceased by parents William and Euna Magee. Will be fondly remembered by Mike O'Shaughnessy and his son, Zachary.

Relatives and friends may pay their respects at McINTOSH-ANDERSON-KELLAM FUNERAL HOME LTD., 152 King Street East, Oshawa (905-433-5558) on Thursday from 2:00 to 4:00 pm and 7:00 to 9:00 pm.

A funeral service will be held at Colonel R.S. McLaughlin Armoury, 53 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa on Friday, September 26th at 1:00 pm. Interment Thornton Cemetery.

Donations made in William's memory to any organization that supports children or youth that you were involved with when you met William, or any presently supported children or youth organizations in your area would be appreciated by the family. Online condolences may be made at makfuneralhome.com.

Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2014 4:09 AM
Subject: R: William Sam Magee

It is with a heavy heart that I received the news of Sam Magee’s passing. Sam was the first veteran I met when he came to our area with a Group of FSSF Renactors with whom I spent a couple of days on Mount La Defensa. We slept exactly on the spot where the first Americans and Canadians KIA were buried during the fighting on the mountain.

The Historicus Museum was founded in 2006 thanks to Sam Magee who urged me to create it and donated his uniform and equipment.

Sam was our Guest of Honor for several years and I find it appropriate to dedicate our Museum to him and to the “Men of the FSSF”.

Heart felt condolences,

Angelo Andreoli