[Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 151 (2005), Part 17]
[Page 22611]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]


 Mr. SALAZAR. Mr. President, I rise today to honor the life and 
legacy of COL Joseph Julian McLachlan. Colonel McLachlan is a World War 
II hero and a proud Air Force veteran who died at the age of 85 in late 
July. Next week, he will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery. 
With the honors of a full military funeral, he will take his rightful 
place alongside America's greatest heroes, Medal of Honor recipients 
and veterans going back to the American Revolution.
  Born in 1920, Joseph McLachlan enlisted in the Army Air Corps at the 
start of World War II. He completed his pilot training and was 
commissioned in 1942. As part of the famed 368th Fighter Group, 
McLachlan flew two strafing missions in support of ground troops on D-
Day. Six days later, he was shot down and hid behind enemy lines until 
he could rejoin American troops. Over the course of the war, he 
completed 91 missions as a P-47 pilot. He earned a Silver Star, 
Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, 17 Air Medals, and the Legion 
of Merit.
  Today, more than 60 years later, it is hard to recapture the 
tremendous uncertainty that America faced at the eve of the Normandy 
invasion. Operation Overlord employed more than 5,000 ships and landing 
craft, more than 12,000 airplanes, and more than 150,000 troops. Their 
bravery carried the day and led to the victory of freedom and democracy 
over tyranny and oppression. Ordinary Americans like Joseph McLachlan 
gave the best years of their lives to the greatest mission this country 
has ever taken on. The world owes them a huge debt of gratitude.
  After the war, McLachlan stayed in the military. In 1948, he flew 44 
missions in the Berlin Airlift, one of the first major crises of the 
Cold War. A command pilot, McLachlan led a B-47 Squadron at MacDill Air 
Force Base in Tampa. He was vice-commander of Zaragoza Air Base in 
Spain and Commander of Lincoln Air Base in Nebraska. He retired as 
Chief of Foreign Liaison at the Pentagon.
  After leaving the military, Colonel McLachlan went on to have a 
successful 19-year career in the private sector. His greatest legacy is 
his large and loving family. He had 6 children, 10 grandchildren, and 7 
  Mr. President, COL Joseph McLachlan was a great American. As we 
prepare to lay his remains to rest at Arlington, I ask my colleagues to 
join me in honoring him and his family.