Clyde F. McClain (Brigadier General)
Arsenal Technical High Class of 1939
- Clyde F. McClain (Brigadier General)
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Memories of Clyde F. McClain (Brigadier General)
Brigadier General Clyde F. McClain was born on March 25, 1921 in Ladoga, Indiana. He graduated from Arsenal Technical High School in 1939 and the University of Maryland in 1972. He attended Indiana University before entering the U.S. Army Air corps as a aviation cadet in January 1943. He graduated from flying school and was commissioned a second lieutenant in November 1943 at Brooks Field, Texas, then completed transition training at Barksdale Field, Louisiana.
General McClain went to the European Theater of Operations in September 1944 and was assigned to the 322nd Bombardment Group. He flew combat missions from bases in England, France and Belgium. He returned to theUnited States in December 1945 and served as an operations staff officer with Headquarters Continental Air Forces at Bolling Field, Washington, DC, and later with Headquarters Strategic Air Command, at Andrews Field, Maryland. He was released from active military service in November 1947 and became a member of the Inactive Reserve.
During the Korean War, General McClain was recalled to active duty in May 1951 and served with the 434th Troop Carrier Wing. In February 1952 he joined the Far East Air Forces in Japan, where he served as Chief of Flight Test and production inspection for the Far East Air Materiel Area at Tachikawa Air Base. He returned to the United States and went to the Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama in August 1955, where for the next three years he served as a member of the faculty of the Squadron Officer School. He became a student at the Air Command and Staff College in August 1958.
In June 1959 General McClain was transferred to Aviano Air Base, Italy, as Director of Operations for the 7227th Support Group. In September 1962 he was assigned to the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, South Carolina as a fighter squadron commander.
He next served as Air Liaison Officer with the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Washington from April 1964 to September 1966, then went to the Republic of Vietnam with the Division. In March 1967 he was transferred to Bien Hoa Air Base as Deputy Commander, 504th Tactical Air Support Group.
He returned to the United States in October 1967 and was assigned to the Pacific Division of the Operations Directorate, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In April 1969 he became a member of the United States/Vietnam delegation to the Paris Peace Talks. In July 1970 he returned to the Pentagon as Assistant to the Director for Operations for Joint Matters, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. He was reassigned in March 1972 to the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as Chief of the Pacific Division.
In August 1973, General McClain assumed duties as Commander of the 313th Air Division with headquarters at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, and in December 1974 he was assigned additional duty as Commander, 18th Tactical Fighter Wing.
General McClain became Vice Commander of Twelfth Air Force, Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas in August 1975.
His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon, and the Vietnam Cross for Gallantry with palm.
General McClain is married to the former Marlys Stewart. They have three children: Rebecca, Robert and Sharon. His hometown is Indianapolis, Indiana.
He was promoted to the grade of Brigadier General effective April 2, 1973, with date of rank March 26, 1973.
by Sue Montgomery ('60)
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