War Hero Dead at 83 - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/09/02

War Hero Dead at 83

He served this country in three wars, and spent three years as a POW in the Korean war.

Lieutenant General Jack McLaughlin fought with his fellow marines in three wars, but he will be remembered best for what he described as the most difficult time in his life.

In November 1950, General McLaughlin was taken prisoner at the Battle of Chosen Reservoir during the Korean War. He was in a convoy on its way to join the First Marine Division when the men were attacked and outnumbered by the Chinese. The Chinese offered to let them surrender and McLaughlin told them they would not surrender because they were beaten, they were surrendering to get their wounded cared for. If  they could not get their wounded evacuated, they would fight on.

He spent three years as a prisoner of war, enduring beatings, hunger and disease, before he was finally released in September 1953.

McLaughlin credited his sense of humor for helping him through, but his friend--retired General Donald Rosenblum--says there's more to McLaughlin than that.

"I think it was more than his wit that got him through there," he told us. "His grit got him through his three years of being a prisoner in China."

The two men met years later, after McLaughlin served in the Vietnam War and attained the rank of Lieutenant General.

"We met when I was a young Brigadier General and commander of the 24th Division at Fort Stewart at Hunter Army Airfield," said Rosenblum. "I listened to his counsel--I asked him, he didn't offer it. He had a hell of a great career and was somebody I admired."

General Rosenblum wants people to remember the decorated war hero, who had done so much for his country. "He is somebody who has done an awful lot for his country, and a lot of people forget about those things and they shouldn't. They shouldn't forget Jack McLaughlin."

Funeral arrangements are still pending for general McLaughlin. He was 83 years old.

Reported by: Liz Flynn

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