The following is taken from a letter received by the Association
back in late June, 2002. The letter began I have a couple of
stories to tell about Iron Lung McClung."
"In April of 1950 I returned from Korea and Japan and was
assigned to the 229th Signal Operations Company at Ft. Monmouth.
Our company was part of a provisional battalion commanded by
none other than Major McClung. I recall meeting with a somewhat
older than expected Major who had a very commanding presence.
When you were with McClung you knew you were with a soldier!
"Some time after my first visit with him he held a close order
drill for the officers of the battalion. We actually learned the
manual of arms for the "grease gun!" This was, he explained,
important because we were to have a series of ceremonies and
parades and he did not want the officers who were armed with
that weapon to be embarrassed. I, like many of my colleagues,
wondered if he was missing his days in OCS. We certainly did not
need any training with the grease gun we said scornfully. As
usual with McClung, he was right we did have a parade and we
were armed with the grease gun. We were fortunate to have had
that bit of training.
"Along came the end of June and the North Korean attack on
South Korea. I, like many
others, went to Major McClung and asked to be reassigned to a
unit bound for
Korea. He looked into my
request and informed me that Department of the Army policy
forbad assignment to
for persons who had just returned from Korea and Japan. I
reminded him that I was unmarried, had some experience in a
variety of signal assignments, and so on. I asked him to reclama
the DA decision. He said he thought I would be of more value
training units for service in Korea and that
was that. I learned that when he said no he meant it!
"Some years later I came back to Ft. Monmouth
and there was Lt. Colonel McClung. I saw him occasionally and
noted that as he grew older he did not mellow. He was always
friendly and supportive, but he was always McClung.
"The last time I saw him was in 1965, when I became the post
signal officer at
Monmouth. He was a
civilian by this time who was, I believe, a special assistant
to Colonel Kimbrough, the commanding officer of the Signal Corps
Engineering Laboratories. I had several contacts with him and he
had not changed. He was always the same: a careful thinker,
calmly steadfast in his views, and supportive of what he thought
was right. I admired him."
/s/ Colonel Phillip E. Lowry, SigC (Ret) Class 6-47, Ft. Benning, GA
P. S. I regret that I did not tell him how I felt about him.