CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice has issued a proclamation ordering that all United States and West Virginia State Flags at the Capitol Complex and all state-owned facilities in all 55 counties be displayed at half-staff from dawn to dusk on Monday, Dec. 23, 2019, in commemoration of the distinguished life and service of former West Virginia Delegate and World War II hero Brig. Gen. J. Kemp McLaughlin.
During one of our nation’s darkest hours, World War II, McLaughlin served our country with tenacity and courage, flying 39 bombing missions as a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot; putting himself in the line of fire countless times to protect America, its people, and its freedoms.
Perhaps his greatest legacy came back at home after the war, where McLaughlin helped found the West Virginia Air National Guard in 1947, serving as its very first commanding officer.
But his commitment to service didn’t stop there. General McLaughlin also took on leadership roles within his community, serving as a Kanawha County Commissioner from 1962 to 1968 and as a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates from 1974 to 1976.