DAR members hear about D-Day

Published 8:07 am Saturday, November 25, 2023

The William Taylor Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution met on Veterans Day, Saturday, Nov. 11, to hear Merny Erby speak on “D-Day and Beyond” as it related to her McLaughlin family’s military service to the United States. She displayed photographs and treasured mementos of their participation in important military action in World War II.

Erby’s father, Harry E. McLaughlin, was only 18 in June 1944 when he served on a mine sweeper off the coast of France ahead of the troop invasion on D-Day in the largest amphibious invasion in military history. He lived to share stories of his military service with his family.

Harry McLaughlin’s older brother, Willie E. McLaughlin, Jr., was not as fortunate.

He drove a truck assigned to take ammunition to the front lines and was killed in northern Italy in 1944.

This generation of McLaughlins also had others who answered the call to serve their country. Serving later in Vietnam was a sister to the two McLaughlin brothers previously mentioned, as well as two younger brothers who served there.

Erby’s mother, Mary Elizabeth Boyle McLaughlin, was not in the active military. However, she served her country by working for the Army Signal Corps in Washington, forgoing attendance at college.

The family has several printed and very thick volumes compiled by Don Turk that include remembrances and pictures from crew members of the USS Raven (AM 55) during their time on the ship during World War II. There is also an official Chronological Report of Operations of June 5, 1944 through June 14, 1944.