Leslie James Patrick Magee, the son of Leslie Horace and Marie Ann Magee nee McCarthy was born in London in 1922. He was educated at George’s Convert School, London and St Joseph Academy, Blackheath. After finishing his formal schooling he attended Kennington Evening Institute whilst working as a Junior Clerk at the Foreign Dept until September 1939.
He enlisted in The London Irish Rifles in April 1939 and was called to colours on 1 September 1939. Rifleman Magee transferred to No 5 Independent Company in April 1940 and served with the North West Expeditionary Force in Norway.
Rfn Magee transferred to the 2nd Bn Royal Ulster Rifles in August 1940 and served with them until 1942, being promoted to Lance Corporal during this time. In March 1942 he volunteered for airborne forces transferring to The Glider Pilot Regiment (GPR).
By May 1942 he had been promoted to Corporal and attached to 29 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS). Relinguishing his rank of Cpl, he was transferred to The Parachute Regiment. Pte Magee undertook parachute training course 14, which ran from 25 May to 4 June 1942 at RAF Ringway. Course 14 had a total intake of 200 men comprising men from both the parachute and airlanding brigades. Training comprised of 2 balloon jumps and 5 aircraft descents. Weather conditions on the course were very variable leading to a lot of waiting about for suitable jump conditions; there were numerous injuries and also a fatality on the course.
He was then posted to the newly formed 21st Independent Company (a pathfinder unit) in June 1942, and went with them to North Africa and Sicily.
L/Cpl Magee was evacuated to the UK, after a successful application to become an officer, and was sent to an Officer Cadet Training Unit (OCTU) in October 1943.
2nd Lieutenant (Lt) Magee was posted to Depot The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces in June 1944. Whilst with the depot he completed another parachute training course (no 123) in July 1944 at RAF Ringway.
He was then posted to the 8th (Midland) Parachute Battalion from August 1944 until his transfer as a War Substantive Lieutenant (W/S Lt) to the Reserve Battalion in March 1945.
After the war in Europe 2nd Lt Magee was posted to 22nd Independent Parachute Company (Pathfinders) who were attached to and accompanied the 5th Parachute Brigade to the Far East in 1945-6. Shortly before the unit was disbanded in July 1946, W/S Lt Magee was posted to The Army Air Corps/ Airborne Forces Depot at Albany Barracks on the Isle of Wight .
In October 1946, the depot moved to Maida Barracks Aldershot, whilst there W/S Lt Magee was posted back to the Reserve Battalion who had recently moved to Aldershot.
When the 5th (Scottish) Parachute Battalion returned to the UK early in 1947, W/S Lt Magee became the 2ic of C Company.
After a varied military career Magee returned to airborne forces in December 1964 as a Major serving as Deputy Assistant Director of Ordnance Services (DADOS) with 16th Parachute Brigade.
Magee retired from active service in June 1977 at the rank of Lt Col.by Sean Nash