McClung, Earl Ervin “Mac” “One Lung”, born 27-04-1923, to Jess and Irene McClung in Inchelium, Washington on the Colville Indian Reservation , He went to school in Inchelium and learned to shoot as a boy and shot his first deer when he was eight. He became an excellent shot, and during service was one of the best, with friend, Staff Sergeant and sniper Darrell Clay “Shifty” Powers, in the Easy Company. of the 101 Airborne Division. . under command of Majoor Richard “Dick” Winters
On 15-02-1943, McClung was drafted into the United States Army. He received basic training at Fort Wolters, Texas, from the not loved Kapitein Herbert Sobel . In 1970, Sobel shot himself in the head with a small-caliber pistol in an attempted suicide. The bullet entered his left temple, passed behind his eyes, and exited the other side of his head. This severed his optic nerves and left him blind. Soon afterward, he began living at a VA assisted-living facility in Waukegan, Illinois. He died there of malnutrition on 30-09-1987, age 75. No memorial services were held for him
McClung volunteered for the paratroopers and was sent to Fort Benning, Georgia. He joined Easy Company in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He instantly befriended Darrell “Shifty” Powers, fellow Easy Company member.
McClung made his first combat jump into Normandy, where John Steel landed in the church tower
, on the night before D-Day. He landed in the town square of Ste. Mere Eglise. He and two other Easy Company members, James Alley and Paul Rogers, fought with the 82nd Airborne Division for several days. The three linked up with their own unit later to fight in Carentan. James Alley survived the war and died 14-03-2008, age 85, in Sedro-Woolley, Skagit County, Washington. Paul Rogers also survived the war and Paul C. Rogers, age 96, of Overland Park, KS, passed away Monday,16-03-2015.
McClung also jumped into the Netherlands for Operation Market Garden. The bridge over the Wilhelmina Canal was blown up by the Germans right after McClung got across the canal. He flopped down behind a tree just in time to not be killed by the explosion.
McClung was considered a very good combat soldier. He was an excellent shot, and even had the reputation for his ability to ‘smell’ Germans. However, he was said to be the worst garrison soldier. His comrades like Powers and Sergeant William Kiehn had to shine his boots and press his pants for him for a retreat parade after the fights in the Netherlands, because they knew that he would not have done any of these things. William Kiehn was KIA 10-02-1945, age 23.
McClung participated in the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. After Walter Gordon was hit by a sniper, McClung and Sergeant Buck Taylor went looking for the sniper. A German pointed his machine gun at McClung but misfired, otherwise McClung would surely have been killed. The two were able to kill the sniper.
Walter Gordon survived the war and died in Pass Christian, Mississippi after suffering a stroke in his sleep. He is survived by his own five children including his eldest born, Walter S. Gordon III and his 5 grandchildren: Bonnie Gordon, Alison Gordon, Cherie Goff, Charles Goff and Shelby Gordon
While in Haguenau, McClung was selected as the lead scout for the patrol mission across the Moder River to capture German prisoners. McClung followed Easy Company until the end of the war.
McClung returned to the United States in December 1945. In February, 1946, McClung reenlisted for another 18 months. He met his wife in South Carolina and the two got married before he was discharged.
McClung got his nickname during the fight in Ste. Mere Eglise. Because of his scouting skills, McClung was repeatedly sent into the city by the officer in charge.
When McClung was sleeping after a night patrol, a Second Lieutenant asked for the service of a machine gunner. James Alley and Paul Rogers placed their machine guns next to McClung, indicating he was the machine gunner. McClung was not happy about being made a machine gunner, and Rogers wrote a poem about the incident, with a line ‘Who hung the gun on One-Lung McClung?‘ And the nickname ‘One Lung’ stuck.
McClung worked in a trucking garage, and then as a mail carrier for 17 years. He then worked for the police department, and retired as a game warden in 1988.
Death and burial ground of McClung, Earl Ervin “Mac” “One Lung”
At the time of his death on 27-11-2013, age 90, Earl McClung was living and hunting in Pueblo, Colorado, Earl is survived by his wife, Jean, of the family home; one daughter, Mary McClung (Bill Shaw); granddaughter, Maye Klamm; grandchildren, Kayla and Brandon. He is also survived by his sister, Viola Rusk; brothers, Gary McClung and Mike Seyler; and numerous nieces and nephews. Earl was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Larry; daughter, Tempe Jean, and sister, Dots.
Earl “Mac”McClung is buried at Fort Logan National Cemetery, Denver, Denver County, Colorado. Section R, Site 764