Brigadier General Richard Eugene McLane II

Brigadier General Richard Eugene McLane II, 78, of Yorktown, Virginia, passed away on Sunday, February 18, 2024.

Brig. Gen. McLane was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, on November 1, 1945. After graduating from Carrollton Community High School, Carrollton, Illinois, in 1963, he attended the University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture Industry and a Master’s Degree in Legal Studies from the University of Illinois, Springfield, Illinois in 1979.

Brig. Gen. McLane was commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1966 through Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia. He flew T-4 and T-2 aircraft in Navy Undergraduate Pilot Training at Pensacola, Florida and F-9 aircraft at the Navy’s Advanced Pilot Training course in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1969.  He was introduced to the F-4 Phantom aircraft at the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina, and continued F-4 training at Iwakuni, Japan, in 1971 and 1972. From February 1972 to August 1972, he flew F-4 missions from Naha Air Base, Okinawa; Danang Air Base, Republic of Vietnam and Nam Phong, Thailand, where he served as both a fighter pilot and maintenance control officer. During this period, he flew 75 missions, totaling 110 combat hours. In September 1972, he returned to USMC Cherry Point, North Carolina, as an Instructor Pilot in F-4, A-6, and A-7 aircraft. Brig. Gen. McLane was later transferred to the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Arizona, until June 1977, flying F-4 and A-4s in an instructor capacity. During this assignment, Brig. Gen. McLane graduated from the Naval Fighter Weapon School known as “TOPGUN”. Brig. Gen. McLane was appointed a Captain with the 170th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Springfield, Illinois, in December 1977 and became an air technician the following year as Weapons and Tactics Officer. Subsequent assignments included Air Operations Officer and Chief, Standardization and Evaluation. Brig. Gen. McLane became Commander of the 183rd Tactical Fighter Group November 25, 1983. Brig. Gen. McLane began flying the F-16 Falcon in February 1989, concurrent with the progressing conversion of the 183rd Tactical Fighter Group from F-4 Phantoms to F-16 Falcons. Brig. Gen. McLane was assigned as director of Air National Guard Affairs to the Commander, Headquarters Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, overseeing 96 units throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. He was promoted to Brig. Gen. August 2, 1998, after serving 32 years of military service with 20 of which were served with the National Guard Service.

His military decorations and awards include Meritorious Service Medal; Air Force Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V” for meritorious service in the Republic of Vietnam; four Air Medals, Combat Readiness Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Achievement Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Air Force Longevity Ribbon with three devices; State of Illinois Air National Guard awards include the Long and Honorable Service Medal and the Military Attendance Ribbon with the Numeral Three. Brig. Gen. McLane is a life member of the National Guard Association of the United States; National Guard Association of Illinois, the Air Force Association, the Federal Executive Association, a past director of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, Community Advisor to North Marine Bank of Springfield; Member, VFW Post 755;  Masonic Lodge of Illinois (Chatham #523); Ansar Shriners of Springfield, Illinois; Daedalians, Samuel P. Langley Flight 34; Past member of the Kiwanis Club-Tabb Virginia; and attendee at Chestnut Memorial United Method Church.

Brig. Gen. McLane was married to the former Ronna Mary Hudson of Wrights, Illinois. They have two children: Angela Gayle Crossin (Grand Rapids, Michigan) married to Brad J. Crossin, and Richard Clinton McLane (Yorktown, Virginia). They have three grandsons and two great-grandsons: Broderick McLane Crossin (Natalee); Reece Hudson Crossin, and Peter Jaye Crossin, grandsons; Knox Thor Crossin and Dierks Ford Crossin, great-grandsons. He was preceded in death by his father, Richard E. McLane, and mother, Goldie McLane of Carrollton, Illinois, as well as his sister, Patricia McLane. He is survived by his sister, Deborah Hunter (Robert), and nieces Lisa Beuttel and Amy Godar.

The family will receive friends on Friday, March 1, 2024, at 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. at Chestnut Memorial UMC, followed by a funeral service at the church at 12:00 p.m.  A military burial service at Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veteran’s Cemetery, Suffolk, Virginia, to follow. A spring memorial service will be held in Illinois (TBA). In honor of Brig. Gen. McLane’s memory, donations can be made to: Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, 4400 Clayton Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110; Juvenile Diabetes Foundation (JDRF), PO Box 5021, Hagerstown, MD, 21741-5021; or Chestnut Memorial UMC, 1024 Harpersville Rd, Newport News, VA 23601.

Brig. Gen. McLane lived an exemplary life and displayed valiant courage until his final flight. His family is comforted and joyful for his reunion with loved ones and knows he is cruising to Creedence Clearwater Revival music up there in the blue yonder.

Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.



  1. Stephen Black

    Rick was my lifelong friend and we shared many great times together over the last 70 years. I always looked forward to our times together and I will cherish those many memories.

  2. James Hamilton

    Rick and I were good friends in grade school and high school in Carrollton, IL. (Class of 1963.) He was a great guy. I enjoyed seeing Rick and reminiscing at our class reunions in Carrollton. I will forever remember those times I got to see Rick.

  3. John Baldwin

    Rick and I were classmates in Carrollton, class of ’63, enjoyed good times, working a summer job together, high school lunches at the Dairy Bar and many other events. Both of us joined the Marines in the ’60’s. Class reunions, he always had a big smile as we talked about “old” times. Semper Fi my friend. A life well lived!

  4. Ray Boosinger

    What a wonderful leader, boss, friend and mentor Rick was for me and so many others at the 183rd Fighter Wing. I will always cherish the memories of flying together with him for so many years. My life has been enriched thanks to his friendship, and how I wish we could slip the surly bonds of earth together one more time. Indeed, a life well lived in service to others. We are all better for having had Rick as a friend.

  5. Allen Leininger

    Rick and I had a lot of good times at S.I.U Carbondale. I last spoke to him and Ronna Mary in October 2019 and we really enjoyed remembering all the crazy things we did. What counts are fond memories. I also find interesting that he was also a Creedence fan. I agree with John Baldwin his was a “Life Well Lived.”

  6. Paul Gerson

    Rick was a good upperclass friend in high school. I thank him for his life long service to our country. Condolences to his family.

  7. JoDell Langdon

    Rick was a few years ahead of me in high school. He was always such a good football player. Prayers for his family and THANK YOU DOR YOUR YEARS OF SERVICE. REST in peace

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