McShane, William G "Blue Max"

Lt. Bill McShane was in the 3rd Platoon 1968-1969

William G. McShane Jr., 69, of Reading, passed away peacefully on July 8, 2013 in his home after a courageous battle with cancer. He was the husband of Margaret S. (Sullivan) McShane.

Born in Mineola, New York on May 14, 1944, he was the son of the late William G. and Margaret F. (Koop) McShane.

After graduating from the Wyomissing High School (class of 1962) and the University of Indiana Pennsylvania (class of 1966), he proudly served in the U.S. Army for three years, including one year in Viet Nam with A Troop, 4th Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment. He received multiple bronze star medals, one of which was with a V device.

Upon returning from Viet Nam, Bill married the love of his life, Peg, and they had 43 beautiful years together.

Bill began his business career in Baltimore with the Westvaco Paper Company and then with Merrill Lynch. In 1974, he returned to Reading and ran Sheer-lund Products and Sheer-lund Properties for 20 years. His later years were spent renovating and managing the former Reading Hardware Company building on Canal St. in Reading, where he also made his home. He enjoyed building friendships with his tenants and acting as a mentor to several of the young new business owners in the building.

Bill loved the outdoors and the water. He instilled that love and his love of adventure in his sons, who are in turn passing it on to their children. He was an avid boater, skier, and golfer. He taught his sons to ski and they all enjoyed many outdoor activities together. He took great pride in seeing his grandchildren learn to ski and begin to share his passion for the outdoors.

He was a proud and loving father, always teaching and setting examples for his sons. He adored his four grandchildren and always anticipated his next visit with them. He loved to teach them about life.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his two sons, Christopher J. McShane, husband of Katherine Pierce McShane, Corrales, NM and Michael W. McShane, husband of Susan McShane, Portland, OR; four grandchildren, Pierce, Tate, Jackson and Grace McShane; a sister, Margaret M. Pendergast, wife of David E. Pendergast; nephew, Peter W. Pender-gast, husband of Adrienne B. Pendergast; niece, Barrie Jean Pendergast, wife of Thomas Stambaugh; and five great nephews and a niece.

Funeral service and interment will be private. Friends may gather at the Canal Street Pub and Restaurant, 535 Canal Street, Reading on Friday, July 12 from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. to greet the family and celebrate Bill's life.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to South Mountain YMCA, P.O. Box 147, Wernersville, PA 19565 in support of the military family fund, or to Heartland Hospice Memorial Fund, 4 Park Plaza, Suite 105A, Park Road North, Wyomissing, PA Lamm & Witman Funeral Home, Inc., Wernersville is handling arrangements. Online condolences may be made at


Keith Eatonʻs remarks at Blue Maxʻs memorial service


45 years ago Bill was known by the handle the Blue Max, he along with Charlie Brown, and Mad Dog led the platoons of A Troop 4 Squadron 12 th Cavalry. After his time in Vietnam was over he raised a family and led a good life. In 2001 a group of former troopers began looking for the officers, NCO’s and enlisted men of the troop to get back together. Bill was found and became a member of the Brotherhood of the Cav.

In 2003 Bill, Earl Schorpp and I went to Washington DC to scout out Hotels for the 2004 reunion. That evening Bill and Peg, Earl my wife Linda and I sat in the lobby of the hotel for an eternity talking about the past, the future and the present. Shortly after this great trip Bill was diagnosed with Cancer and his struggle began. The prayers of the brotherhood were with Bill and Peg and in the end he went into remission just prior to the 2004 reunion at the Wall. We spotted Bill and Peg as they approached the Wall and we rejoiced at his attendance.

Bill and Peg were able to attend more reunions and our friendships grew. Bill became a part of the A Troop family. That began so many years ago in a land so very far away. In 2011 I contacted Bill regarding a trip to Washington DC to recon for a new hotel for the 2012 reunion. At that time he told me that the cancer had returned and he would not be able to do the recon with me. But that he would do his best to make the reunion. And he did.

I did not have the privilege of serving under Bills command but in the years since we began getting together a friendship grew and I along with all the Troopers became Bill’s brother and a part of his family.

Just before Bill went on to Fiddlers Green ( the Cavalry heaven) He sent me a goodbye e-mail telling me his time was limited and he wanted the brotherhood to know he was thinking of them. I think he knew they were thinking and praying for him and his real family too.

As long as a Trooper lives Bill will be remembered for his character , his honor, and his Love for A Troop 4 th Squadron 12 th Cavalry.


A dozen years ago, Bill and I worked closely together trying to locate the men he had led as a lieutenant in A Troop during the war. It was a daunting task, but we were able to find many of them. He was so grateful and emotional to be able to sit with “his” men at a dinner table in Las Vegas that year. I know, because I sat with them. Even after all the years, one could tell he still thought and cared about each and every one of them.
If in the future, I’m able to find some of his missing men, I will be able to tell them that their young lieutenant became one of the finest men I’ve known. 
Diane Rebbec
(Bob, 2nd 69-70)





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