OBITUARY: World War II Veteran Lt. Col. George Edward McClane, 100, of Cocoa Beach, Passed Away July 19
By Space Coast Daily // July 26, 2020
George spent 31 years working for five different contractors at Kennedy Space Center
McClane Flew 105 Combat Missions During World War II and 112 During Korea
BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA BEACH, FLORIDA – George Edward McClane, a 100-year-old retired Lieutenant Colonel, United States Marine Corps, and also a retired Aerospace worker, died on July 19, 2020, at his home.
He was born in Biloxi, Mississippi, on December 21, 1919, but grew up on a farm in Lecompte, Louisiana, where he graduated from Lecompte High School and attended Louisiana State University.
Other than farming, he worked odd jobs around the area and was working at the Meeker Sugar Mill when he heard of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
In early 1942, although being classified 3A in the draft, and didn’t have to go into the service, he joined the Navy and went to Naval Flight Training.
Upon completion of flight training he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S.M.C.R. and soon found himself headed to the South Pacific with Marine Fighter Squadron 212, flying the F4U(Corsair).
He flew out of Espirtu Santo, Vella La Vella, Bouganville, and Green Island. Later on he joined Marine Fighter Squadron 323 on Okinawa and was there when the war ended. In 1950 he found himself in combat again with Marine Fighter Squadron 312, in Korea, still flying the F4U.
During the Korean operation, he flew out of Kimpo, Wonsan, Yonpo, Bofu Japan, K-1 Korea, and from the Aircraft Carrier USS Bataan.
All total he flew 105 combat missions during WWII and 112 during Korea, for a grand total of 633 combat hours.
For this achievement he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with 6 stars, the Air Medal with 24 stars, American Campaign Medal, Victory Medal WWII, Navy Occupation Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation.
After completing a six-month cruise in the Mediterranean, in 1956, as a Special Weapons Delivery Pilot, aboard the Aircraft Carrier USS Lake Champlain, flying AD-2 (Skyraider) aircraft during day and night operations, he became a Helicopter Pilot. In December of 1957, while stationed at Okinawa and assigned to VMO-2, he had the pleasure of flying Bob Hope, his brother, and Jerry Colona around the Island in a HOK-1 helicopter.
In 1966, after serving almost 25 years in the Marine Corps, George retired and moved to Cocoa Beach, FL, and went to work at the Kennedy Space Center for the Base Operations Support Contractor. He spent the next 31 years working for five different contractors before retiring in Feb. 1998.
He is preceded in death by his wife of 60 and ½ years, Marie; mother, Irma Clark McClane, of Lecompte, LA; father, Jessie Sebourne McClane, of Houston, TX.; brother, Dr. J.S McClane, Jr., and his wife Marilyn, of Winnfield, LA; sister, Ouida Britt and her husband Frank, of Tioga, LA; father in-law and mother in-law Guilo and Carolina Renacci of Donora, PA and brother in-law, Evo Renacci on Donora, PA.
He is survived by his daughter, Marina Cadwallder (Jason), of Houston, TX., and three grandchildren, Cristina Strube of Rowena, TX., Jennifer Doris, of Houston, TX., Ashley Doris, of Houston, TX., great granddaughter Logan Conner, 7 first cousins, 4 nephews, 3 nieces, 2 caring sister in-laws, Gloria Marinkovich and Anna Maria Renacci of Donora, PA, and their families.
Memorial Services are to be determined at this time.
The family requests no flowers. Donations may be made to Building a Community, Our Saviour’s Catholic Church, Cocoa Beach, FL, or a charity of choice.
CLICK HERE FOR BREVARD COUNTY NEWS