Retired March 1, 1975. Died Aug. 31, 1998.
Major General George W. McLaughlin is commander, Sacramento Air Materiel Area, McClellan Air Force Base, Calif.
General McLaughlin was born in Georgetown, Ohio, in 1919. He graduated in 1938 from Cadiz High School in Cadiz, Ohio, and attended Ohio State University until October 1941, when he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps aviation cadet program. He received his primary flying training at Helena Field, Ariz.; basic at Greenville Field, Miss., and advanced at Spence Field, Ga., where he received his pilot wings and was commissioned a second lieutenant in May 1942.
He then was assigned as a P-39 aircraft pilot instructor at Tallahassee and Sarasota, Fla. In 1943 he became a P-47 aircraft pilot instructor at Cross City, Fla.
During World War II, he served as a P-47 fighter pilot with the 506th Fighter Bomber Squadron of the 404th Fighter Bomber Group, in the European Theater of Operations. He flew combat missions out of England, France and Belgium. He participated in the invasion of Europe and flew close air support for the Third Army offensive drive across France. He is credited with four enemy aircraft destroyed and two probables.
General McLaughlin became chief of standard evaluation for a P-47 aircraft replacement training unit at Camp Springs, Md., in 1945. His next assignment was executive officer at Shaw Field, S.C. In 1946 he was assigned to the Fighter Branch, Research and Development Directorate, Headquarters Army Air Forces in Washington, D.C. In September 1946 as a student officer, he entered Miami University, Ohio, where he received a bachelor of science degree in 1947.
In July 1948 he became chief of the Fighter Branch, Research and Development Directorate, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. He went to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, in September 1951 and served successively as commander, 525th Fighter Bomber Squadron, and deputy commander, director of operations, and then commander of the 86th Fighter Bomber Group. He returned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in February 1955 as deputy chief and later was chief, Air Defense Team, Air Warfare Systems Division, Deputy Chief of Staff, Development.
Following graduation from the Air War College in July 1959, he went to L.G. Hanscom Field, Mass., where he served as chief of the Aircraft Division, Air Defense Systems Integration Division, and later became deputy chief of staff for plans and operations, Electronics Systems Division.
General McLaughlin was assigned in January 1962 to the Plans Division of the U.S. Strike Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. In July 1964 he went to Germany where he was assigned as commander of the 50th Tactical Fighter Wing at Hahn Air Base, and in May 1966 became the deputy chief of staff for operations for Seventeenth Air Force at Ramstein Air Base.
In September 1967 he went to the Republic of Vietnam and was commander of the 3d Tactical Fighter Wing at Bien Hoa Air Base and later became director of the Seventh Air Force Tactical Air Control Center.
General McLaughlin was transferred to Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va., in May 1969 as assistant deputy chief of staff, operations for requirements, and in February 1970 became deputy chief of staff, materiel. He assumed command of Sacramento Air Materiel Area at McClellan Air Force Base, Calif., in July 1972.
General McLaughlin is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff School, and the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. He is a command pilot with more than 5,700 flying hours in more than 25 different aircraft, including the F-80 Shooting Star, the earliest jet fighter, and the F-4 Phantom, one of the latest. A rated parachutist, he attended the Airborne School, Fort Benning, Ga., in 1962.
His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with 25 oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, French Croix de Guerre, Belgium Fourragere, and Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal, First Class.
He was promoted to the grade of major general effective Aug. 1, 1970, with date of rank Feb. 1, 1966.