Raymond S. McLain

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Raymond Stallings McLain
Raymondmclain.jpg
Born April 4, 1890
Washington County, Kentucky, United States
Died December 14, 1954 (aged 64)
Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C., United States
Buried at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1912–1952
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General
Unit USA - Army Infantry Insignia.png Infantry Branch
Commands held 90th Infantry Division
XIX Corps
Battles/wars Pancho Villa Expedition
World War I
World War II
Awards Distinguished Service Cross (2)
Distinguished Service Medal (2)

Lieutenant General Raymond Stallings McLain (April 4, 1890 – December 14, 1954) was a senior United States Army officer.[1]

In the words of General George Marshall, Raymond S. McLain "gave great distinction to the term 'citizen soldier'". His service to his state and nation spanned more than forty years.[2]

Biography[edit]

Early life and military career[edit]

Raymond McLain was born in Washington County, Kentucky, as a son of Thomas A. and Lucetta (Stallings) McLain. He graduated from Hill's Business College in Oklahoma City in 1909 and subsequently worked as a clerk in real estate office and then worked as an abstractor. Simultaneously entered in the Oklahoma Army National Guard in 1912, where he attained the rank of sergeant.

In December 1914, during World War I (although the United States was still neutral at this stage), he was commissioned as an officer, with the rank of second lieutenant in the Oklahoma Army National Guard after he attended the School of Musketry at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He was promoted again next year to the rank of first lieutenant. Following the Pancho Villa Expedition in 1916, he served on the Mexican Border.

The American entry into World War I came on April 6, 1917. During the war, Raymond served as a machine gun company commander with the 36th Division on the Western Front with the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) under General John Pershing until 1919. After return home, he continued his service with the Oklahoma Army National Guard and subsequently returned to his career in business.

Between the wars[edit]

In 1938, while pursuing a career in business, McLain, rose to the rank of brigadier general in the Oklahoma National Guard and attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. After graduating he was posted to the 45th Infantry Division, an Oklahoma Army National Guard formation, as an assistant chief of staff.

In September 1940, he was recalled to the active duty and was appointed as the artillery commander of the 45th Infantry Division.

World War II[edit]

During World War II, he commanded the divisional artillery. He led the artillery overseas during the Allied invasion of Sicily in July–August 1943, where he earned the first of two Distinguished Service Crosses. He continued to lead the artillery in the Allied invasion of Italy in September, and in the early stages of the Italian Campaign, before eventually being sent to England. During the Battle of Normandy in August 1944, McLain briefly took command of the 90th Infantry Division, which was having numerous command problems. McLain transformed the 90th it into a first-class fighting formation, and led it across France in the Allied advance from Paris to the Rhine and in many numerous battles on the Western Front. In October he then assumed command of the XIX Corps, remaining its commander for the rest of the war. He was the only National guardsman to command a corps in combat during World War II.

Postwar[edit]

For his distinguished service in the war, he was appointed a brigadier general in the Regular Army. Later, he became the comptroller of the army, and was appointed the army's first statutory comptroller general. At the time of his death in 1954 he was serving on President Dwight D. Eisenhower's National Security Training Commission.

He died at Walter Reed General Hospital in Washington, D.C. on December 14, 1954, at the age of 64.

Honors[edit]

Tulsa Public High School Named is his honor.

For the service and performance exhibited by McLain in his military career, the Tulsa Public Schools built and honored General McLain, by opening McLain High School, in September, 1959. In the years that followed its opening, many relatives, friends and descendants of General McLain attended school assemblies and honored him. After almost 50 years of graduating many young adults who have achieved similar excellence in their own lives from McLain, today McLain High School now serves the community in an occupational job program role.

On May 22 & 23, 2009, the McLain High School graduates of the first three classes came together for a joint class reunion and honored General McLain and the schools' 50th birthday.

Decorations[edit]

Lieutenant General McLain's decorations include: Distinguished Service Cross with Oak leaf Cluster (Sicily, 1943 and France, 1944),[3] Army Distinguished Service Medal with Oak leaf Cluster (France, 1944 and Germany, 1945), Silver Star (Italy, 1943), Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with Oak leaf Cluster (Italy, 1944 and Germany, 1945), Mexican Border Service Medal, World War I Victory Medal with two battle clasps, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one silver and three bronze service stars and Arrowhead device, World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, French Croix de Guerre 1939–1945, Grand officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau with swords,[4] Commander of the Order of Leopold II[5] and Belgian Croix de Guerre.[6]

Lieutenant General McLain's ribbon bar:

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Bronze star
Arrowhead
Silver star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Eugene M. Landrum
Commanding General 90th Infantry Division
August 1944 – October 1944
Succeeded by
James Van Fleet
Preceded by
Charles H. Corlett
Commanding General XIX Corps
1944–1945
Succeeded by
Post deactivated