Lieutenant General Raymond Stallings McLain was born on 4 April 1890 in Washington County, Kentucky, and moved to Oklahoma City in 1907. Although only completing the sixth grade, he graduated from Hill’s Business College in 1909 to begin a civilian career in Oklahoma banking.
In December 1912, McLain enlisted as a Private in the First Oklahoma Regiment; was commissioned an Infantry Second Lieutenant in 1914; served on the Mexican Border in 1916 and 1917; and then as a company commander in the Argonne Forest during October 1918.
In 1924, the 45th Division was federally activated as a National Guard division. McLain was promoted to Brigadier General and Commanding General 45th Division Artillery in 1937. In 1938, he attended the Army CGSC and graduated first in his class.
The 45th Division was activated for WWII in September 1940 and landed in Italy in July 1943 to fight at Sicily, Salerno, and Anzio. During that summer of combat, BG McLain was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and Silver Star.
In early 1944, General Eisenhower relocated McLain to England for command reassignment as the Artillery Commander for the 30th Infantry Division that landed in Normandy in June; in July, General Bradley assigned him to command the 90th Infantry Division; and was then named commander of the XIX Corps in October. He was the only National Guard Corps Commander in WWII. MG McLain received a second Distinguished Service Cross, and two awards of the Distinguished Service Medal.
McLain was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1945. After WWII, he served as Army Chief of Information and the first Comptroller of the Army. He retired in 1952 as LTG and advised President Eisenhower until his death at age 64 on 12 December 1954. In General George C. Marshall’s words to Raymond McLain, “You, in your person, elevated and gave great distinction to the term “citizen soldier.” LTG McLain rests in Rose Hill Burial Park, Oklahoma City.