CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A C-130H aircraft now bears the name “The General Mac” — named after West Virginia Air National Guard founder Brig. Gen. (Ret.) James Kemp McLaughlin.

The U.S. Air Force plane was dedicated to McLaughlin Thursday during a ceremony for his 99th birthday.

McLaughlin, also known as “General Mac”, founded the Air National Guard in 1947. He served as founder and commander of the Guard and went on to serve as commander of what is known today as the 130th Airlift Wing.

In 2014, the base was designated as McLaughlin Air National Guard Base, named in honor of him.

State Adjutant Gen. James Hoyer spoke about McLaughlin’s military accomplishments and his service to the nation.

“Throughout his life, throughout his 99 great years he’s been a man of value, a man of standards and respect,” Hoyer said.

McLaughlin represents everything the West Virginia National Guard stands for, Hoyer said.

“We the military must continue to be the standard bearer for the values that this nation represents and Gen. Mac represented those not just in uniform, but as a citizen when he came home,” he said.

Hoyer said he hopes the Guard continues to honor people like Gen. Mac who have made a lasting impact on West Virginia’s military history.

“It’s one more step in things that we want to as a National Guard to recognize somebody who has sacrificed and and committed so much to our nation,” he said.

During World War II, McLaughlin flew the B-17 Bomber in some of the most important bombing missions and aerial battles in history.

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