December 16, 2019

Manchin Statement On The Death Of Brigadier General McLaughlin

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today released the following statement on the death of the founder and first Commander of the West Virginia Air National Guard, Brigadier General (Ret.) Kemp McLaughlin.

“Gayle and I were saddened to hear of the passing of our dear friend, Brig. Gen. Kemp McLaughlin. General McLaughlin truly embodied “The Greatest Generation.” While serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps, he completed 39 combat missions during World War II, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with three clusters, the US Army Air Corps Air medal with eight clusters, the French Croix de Guerre, and a Presidential unit citation. Upon returning home, he helped establish the West Virginia Air National Guard as its first commander and led the unit when it was deployed during the Korean War. General McLaughlin led a lifetime of selfless service in the military and here at home. Beyond his military service, he served our state as a Kanawha County Commissioner and in the House of Delegates. I am proud to have known him and I am honored to have called him a dear friend. Kemp was a true family man and a great West Virginian. Gayle and I know that many hearts are hurting with his passing, and we send our deepest condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time.”