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LCDR 'Jack' McDonald served as the second Executive Officer aboard USS William H. Bates from 1974 to 1976. He died November 8, 2009, in Rockledge, Florida at the age of 67.

Following is his obituary from the Naval Academy's Alumni Association newsletter, reproduced from the Palm Beach Post.

 

John Joseph McDonald, Jr. died on November 9, 2008 at Wuesthoff Hospital in Rockledge, FL. He was 67 years old.

A native of Illinois whose family moved to West Palm Beach, FL, Jack graduated from Palm Beach High School in 1959. He received a congressional appointment to the Naval Academy. Known as 'JJ' to his classmates, he graduated with the Class of 1963, a member of the 14th Company. He remained at USNA after graduation to teach sailing to the Plebe Class of 1967.

Following that assignment, he completed nuclear power training and Submarine School in 1965 and immediately reported to USS HENRY L STIMSON for five Polaris deterrent patrols. After attending advanced Polaris Weapon School at Dam Neck, VA he again reported to USS HENRY L STIMSON in January, 1968 where he served as Weapons Officer and then Engineer Officer for eight patrols. After a tour at BUPERS as the Submarine Department Head Detailer, he reported to USS WILLIAM H BATES in April, 1974 as Executive Officer after an SSN indoctrination operations in USS TREPANG.

He then commanded USS PINTADO (SSN 672) for four years. His memorable tour included operations in the Arctic Basin, a visit to Auckland, New Zealand and operations in the Straits of Hormuz in support of the first Carrier Battle Group in the Northern Arabian Sea in response to the hostage situation at the U.S. Embassy in Iran. His subsequent tours were as COMSUBPAC Prospective Commanding Officer Instructor, COMSUBGRU 7 Chief Staff Officer, COMSUBPAC N6 where he directed Trident SSBN operations in the Pacific, and finally Fleet Intelligence Officer on the staff, Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet. He retired in August, 1991.

Jack was delighted that his entire career revolved around operational submarines, as he somehow escaped any new construction, overhaul and non-submarine staff assignments. In his short business career, he represented NUS (later Halliburton NUS) in nuclear marketing in Korea in 1992. In 1993 he worked for Atlantic Research Company (later Computer Data Corporation) in Chinhae, Korea.

He then retired to the Philippines where he resided in Olangapo City and Subic. He worked as a volunteer at the Retired Activities Office, Subic Bay and was the Asia representative on the Secretary of the Navy's Retiree Council for ten years. His awards include the Legion of Merit and eight awards of the Meritorious Service Medal.

He is survived by his parents, Grace and John McDonald of Cocoa Beach, FL, his wife, Cynthia, sons Scott and John ('JM'), daughter Erin, five grandchildren, and his sister Jill (Bill) Rock.

Expressions of sympathy for the family may be sent to his parents at 200 South Banana River Blvd., #2406, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931.

Interment will be at the new VA cemetery in Palm Beach County.

Published in The Palm Beach Post on 11/16/2008

U.S. Naval Acadamy Alumni Association and Foundation Website

 

 

Jack served as XO under the command of CDR Glen Arthur and CDR Bill Houley.  Bill offered his memories of Jack's contribution aboard the USS William H. Bates:

 
Jack McDonald was my XO when I reported as CO in mid-75.  The Bates had already done her first and very successful spec-op under Glen Arthur and Jack's experience was my gain in more ways than I could count.  He was exceptionally capable and loyal, taught me a lot and was an enabler for many of the operational successes the Bates enjoyed not only while he was XO, but after he had left.

Jack had a great sense of humor and was well liked in the wardroom and by the crew.  More importantly, he was highly respected as well.  Neither one of us slept much during high intensity operations so common during the height of the Cold War, but I never lay down worrying that he could not handle any situation with competence and good judgment.  Any CO would look pretty good if he had a Jack McDonald look-alike as XO.

William Houley

Commanding Officer
USS William H. Bates 1975-1978


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