James A. McLaughry, B-24 Pilot, 8th AF, 392 BG, 576 BSq, Wendling, UK

James A. McLaughry, B-24 Pilot and his Crew.

Jim McLaughry (left) , 8th AF B-24 Pilot, showing Larry Taylor (right) 8th AF B-24 Navigator, 
one of his WWII photos 
at the May 28, 2014 8th AFHS-MN Weekly Luncheon (Photo: K. Callahan).

James A. McLaughry, B-24 Pilot, 1st Lieutenant, 8th AF, 392 BG, 576 BSq, Wendling, England, 23 missions Aug. 1944-early 1945. Personal Pilot of Major General Frederick L. Anderson from March 12, 1945 on. (see the documentary Target for Today. Gen. Anderson was responsible for target selection in Germany and was Deputy Commanding General for Operations in the US Strategic Air Forces in Europe. HQ USSTAF ).
iv>James A. McLaughry with David Allen wrote an unpublished 93 page typed manuscript about his WW II experiences entitled A Pathway Through The Sky.
James A. McLaughry 
Enlisted in Aviation Cadets Oct. 1942
Called to Duty Feb. 22, 1943 age 19.
Training Miami Beach, Florida and Kent, Ohio
Preflight and Classification ant San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center.
Soloed in a PT-19 Oct. 1943
Multi-engine in Cessna AT-17
Commissioned Spring 1944, 2nd Lieutenant
Assigned as B-24 Co-pilot.
Phasing school (crew assignment and training) Colorado Springs.
Flew B-24 to England arriving shortly after D-Day.
On more than one occassion they barely made it back to England due to flak and/or ME 109 fighter damage.
Mr. 12, 1945 assigned as the personal pilot for Maj. Gen. Frederick L. Anderson.
Jim McLaughry flew Gen Anderson "around allied held positions in a Twin Beech to assess bomb damage and attend senior staff meetings." He met Generals Eisenhower, Spaatz, Arnold, and Doolittle.

Obituary notice from Holcomb-Henry-Boom-Purcell Funeral Home 
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James Alexander McLaughry (February 14, 1924 - June 30, 2015 ) 
James A. (Jim) McLaughry, 91, formerly of Rockford, IL, passed on June 30, 2015 at Johanna Shores Presbyterian Homes in Arden Hills, MN. Jim’s consistent engagement in life, loving sense of humor, and heart of service will be sorely missed. Gathering of family and friends from 2-4:30PM (brief service at 2:30PM) Tuesday, July 7 at JOHANNA SHORES, 3200 Lake Johanna Blvd, Arden Hills in Fellowship Hall. Mass of Christian Burial 11AM (gathering begins at 10AM) Wednesday, July 8 at ST ODILIA CATHOLIC CHURCH, 3495 N. Victoria, Shoreview. Interment Fort Snelling National Cemetery. Memorials to the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army preferred. Jim was born February 14, 1924, in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, the son of James Sr. and Margaret Miller McLaughry, Jim became Valedictorian of his class at New Wilmington High School in 1940. After one year at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, Jim returned home to study at Westminster College and help support his father’s factory which was actively involved in the war effort. During that time he also organized college students to assist area farmers with their crop harvest due to the extreme shortage of farm labor, and sang in a male quartet. 
        In 1943 Jim enlisted with the United States Army Air Corps. Jim was chosen to train as a bomber pilot; after receiving his wings he joined the crew of a B-24 heavy bomber as co-pilot in June 1944. Immediately assigned to the European theatre of operations in the 8th Air Force, the crew flew to an air base at East Anglia in the northeast corner of England. In fourteen of the 21 bombing missions, the crew returned with less than 4 engines. The faith in God which Jim had accepted in childhood never failed him. During the months of battle, that faith strengthened to where he was able to encourage other members of the crew. Hepatitis then grounded Jim in the hospital for 3 months, during which time he often helped the nurses comfort the severely wounded. In early 1945 Jim was assigned as personal pilot and aide to General Frederick L. Anderson, second in command of the 8th Air Force. In that assignment he flew General Anderson to strategic international meetings and to liberated Allied positions to assess bomb damage, a tour which included an unexpected and moving stop at Buchenwald concentration camp shortly after liberation. Lt. McLaughry was awarded the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf clusters and two European Battle Stars.
        Upon release from duty in September 1945, Jim accepted an invitation to assist friends in a worldwide effort to “remake the world.” The multi-faceted effort included several large musical productions which traveled to 26 nations, later becoming what is known today as Up With People. Jim served in this capacity, without salary, for 22 years. Toward the close of this era in Jim’s life of service, he started to notice a lovely young pianist named Nancy Hawthorne, and worked up the courage to ask for her hand. The wedding took place in Greenwich, Connecticut on August 22, 1967. The Priest at the event was Fred McCarthy, one of Jim’s closest buddies from the earliest days of flight training 24 years before. In the meantime, Jim had been self-employed as a flight instructor in Tucson until a chance encounter with a friend steered him to Youngstown, Ohio, where he began a new career as a corporate pilot. During this time and into retirement he became a beloved father to daughter, Ann, son-in-law Bob, and a loving grandfather to their children Kirk and Faith. Jim and Nancy were valued members of their communities in New Lenox and Rockford, IL and most recently Presbyterian Homes at Johanna Shores, Arden Hills, MN. Finally, Jim set himself to writing his memoirs via vivid stories completed just before his passing, a lasting gift. Jim is survived by his wife of 47 years, Nancy Hawthorne McLaughry, daughter Ann (Bob) Gronda, grandchildren, Kirk James and Faith Margaret, brother William (Kate) McLaughry, sister "Peg" McLaughry Marshall (Dave) Lehto, several nephews and a niece. Jim's older sister, Mary Beth McLaughry, died in 2004. 
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