LT John R. McDonough, USNR (Deceased)

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"In Memoriam"

LT John R. McDonough, USNR (Deceased)

LT John Richard McDonough, USNR (Deceased)
Date of Birth: May 10, 1939
From South Orange, Essex Country, New Jersey
Missing in Action, Republic of South Vietnam
June 20, 1966

Photo courtesy of New Jersey, Vietnam Veterans Memorial

"He which hath no stomach to this fight let him depart. But we in it shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers!! For he today, that sheds his blood with me, shall always be my brother." - William Shakespeare

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Loss Date: 20 June 1966

The Following contains a Thread regarding the Casualty and Loss of LT John Richard McDonough, a Pilot attached with VAW-13 Det 1, and Early Warning Squadron out of Cubi Point Naval Air Station, Subic Bay, Philippines, who lost his life during a Catapult Bridle Failure during a Launch in 1966. See USS Hancock Vietnam Era MIAs Page for Details on this Casualty.

For a Background on this Thread, LT John McDonough's nephew John J. McDonough wrote the Yeoman for some information on his uncle. This query started a long discussion on the tragedy. I have attempted to include some of this Threaded Conversation below.

The Following was left by Lt John R. McDonough's youngest brother Tim at www.thewall-usa.com - the Yeoman copied it here to add real meat to this Thread:

Timothy R. McDonough
Relationship: Brother
Email Tim via Jake
[Address withheld for privacy]

To my brother John F. McDonough's shipmates.
Dear All,
I am the youngest brother of John F. McDonough. I have read several notes which have been posted regarding my brother's last flight in an EA-1F off the USS Hancock on 20 June 1966.

I remember the bright and sunny June morning when I came downstairs and I saw my parents, my mother holding my father's arm. They had just come back from Catholic mass. I was twelve years old, a Little Leaguer, and I remember my father saying, "Your brother's plane was lost." And I asked, "What?" And my father's reply was slow and clear as he said, "Your brother Johnny's plane was lost at sea."

Recently, I have spoken with a squadron mate of John's who was on the Skyraider with John that morning. His name is Robert Carlton. I spoke to Bob several months ago and he recounted that he was on the flight and as soon as the "cat shot" initiated he knew there was a problem, as the aircraft turned almost ninety degrees to the side as the bridle malfunctioned, and the aircraft went down the deck sideways. Technically, it wasn't a "cold cat shot" as the catapult didn't malfunction. But rather the bridle which attached the aircraft to the catapult failed, sending the aircraft down the flight at an angle with no hope of getting airborn.

I hope to visit with Bob Carlton next month when I go to Florida recurrent training with Flight Safety International. I too am a pilot. I joined the Navy in August of 1978 and attended Aviation Officer Candidates School in Pensacola, Florida. I was commissioned an Ensign, attended flight school and was designated a Naval Aviator and flew H-46 helicopters on active duty and retired from the Naval Reserve.

The tradition continues. My middle son, Ryan Clark McDonough, is a Midshipman Second Class at the United States Naval Academy and has just passed his Naval flight physical. I suspect he too may become an aviator.

After I speak with Bob Carlton next month I will submit one more message to this site- a long overdue "after action report."

All the best,
Timothy R. McDonough
Commander, USNR, Ret.
Comment left: Mar 7, 2008

The Original Email from John J. McDonough, seeking information on his uncle's loss:

----- Original Message -----
From: "John McDonough" <
Email this man via Jake>
To: Admin - this Website
Sent: Wednesday, August 22, 2007 4:55 AM

Good Morning,

The reason for my having joined the website was to see if there was information regarding my Uncle, Lt. John R. McDonough who was killed by a coldcat launch on June 20, 1966 off the Hancock.

John McDonough

Having read the above Email, the Yeoman then sent out a 'General Alarm' to all 1966 shipmates to see if we could glean any more information on this accident... I was ignorant of the term 'Coldcat Launch' so I asked for a definition of this term also. The following are results of that Mail...

The Yeoman wrote 22 Aug 2007:

Requested information: Casuality aboard Hancock 1966: Lt. John R. McDonough
To you, via my Hancock Lists: I did not find this man listed in a Post Refitting (1954) Casualty list on Hancock. I thought I had most of the bases covered, but not so.

Were any of you guys aboard at this time, and if so can you remember such an accident... Get back to me please. One other thing, what is a "Coldcat" launch.. Sorry, guys, I wasn't an Airdale just the Skipper's Yeoman.

Admin USS Hancock CV/CVA-19 Memorial

Note on all who sent comments on Lt. John McDonough, the thread follows, with the latest one at the bottom... If you want to check out the latest, go Here but I feel you need to get a feel of the emotion here, and it would be beneficial to all of you to read each post...

From Bob McKay who joined in the Thread on 22 Aug 2007:

Hi Jake,
A "Cold Cat Shot" or"Launch" refers to a catapult launch where the steam is not up to the proper pressure or is not in enough volume to completely and effectively launch the aircraft. Kind of like a fire cracker that just fizzles..... the plane doesn't have enough speed to maintain air lift and usually nosedives into the water. If the pilot is paying attention and realizes that it is a weak shot, he will eject and hopefully won't be run over by the carrier. That is why the planes usually pull off to one side or the other as soon as they are free of the catapult's bridle. If they have to eject it allows them to fire off to the side instead of directly in front of the carrier. We had a pilot that took a cold cat on the Ticonderoga from one of the waist(angle deck) cats he veered off to the direction in front of the carrier but the eject was so soon that when his chute opened he landed on the deck as we came under him. That was in 1960. In 66 I was still on my shore rotation so have no knowledge of the incident you seek.....sorry.

Phil Torres wrote on this same Query: 22 Aug 2007:

The question that you asked about a Cold Cat is when the cylinder of the catapault is not elongated enought by the heat of the steam. There are Synchro motors attached to the cylinder of the cat and those motors transmit the length of elongation to the Catapault control room to indicate that the Cat if ready for launching aircraft. At that time I was working the PLAT SYSTEM which included the catapaults, video cameras/recorders, centerline landing lights, fresnel lens and some of the arresting gear. I don't remember that the tragedy of LT. John McDonough was a cold cat shot but I do believe that the the Cat malfunction involving the A4E Skyhawk that LT. Dennis Cook was piloiting was a COLD CAT. I had informed the powers to be that I did not think the Synchro motors were indicating correctly and that I would like to crawl uner the Cat Catacombs to inspect and calibrate or replace the synchros. The answer was that it was OK. To this day I still believe that it was a COLD CAT SHOT but how would I prove it. That incident has bothered me ever since.

Phil Torres

In an Email to Wayne Erven, CWO3, USN (Ret) sent on 22 Aug 2007:

Jake, looked in my cruise book for the 65-66 cruise. He wasn't listed anywhere. The article below doesn't make much sense either. We had an eaarly warning squadron on board, but that was an ElB (the one with the radar dome on top). The spad squadron had AlH's (last prop driven fighter that I know of...) He wasn't in either squadron...

We left Vietnam area in July 66. So probably he came aboard after the book was compiled and sent off to the printer in Japan.

I'm confused though about the plane's designation. We didn't show ANY of them in the cruise book, either for 65-66, or 66-67 cruises. We also don't show AEW 13, Det l. We had AEW 11 during65-66 cruise.

Do yoiu know, or correspond with any flight deck people from that era?

Wayne Erven

Follow-up from Phil Torres sent 23 Aug 2007:

Good morning Jake

Just a follow up on catapault launches of E1A Spads or RED BARON planes as I us to call them. Spads were deck launched most of the time except when they were taking off with an extra heavy load of ordinanance which they were very capable of carrying. A cat launch gave them the extra speed needed to clear the flight deck and to safely get airborne.


A Mail from Jim Campbell, a Shipmate from the 1963 Cruise added his own to this Tread on 24 Aug 2007:

As an old flight deck plane captain myself, when I read about John McDonough and what happened to him, it brings tears to my eyes today, 42 years later. You are right, Jake, by the time you know what's happening, it's over. 888 Ft of steel 100 + Ft high, steaming 30-35 kts into the wind, upwards sometimes of 75 MPH of wind coming down the deck doesn't give much time to react when it all goes wrong. He doesn't get air-born, then he's deed six and gone, especially at night. Everybody does exactly what they are supposed to do on the flight deck during flight opps. No mistakes or most likely you are dead. Doesn't matter if you a pilot, crew member, plane captain, or plane pusher, etc.

My prayers & thanks to Lt McDonough's family; Jim Campbell AEAN CVA 19 '63-'65

Dan Blevins AOCS - Onboard same time from a Mail received in the 'Captain's Office' 24 Aug 2007: (See Blev's Memorial and Oral History Page)

I remember the crash pretty well, as it was on my 21st birthday and was working the flight deck early that morning. We were doing our usual early am launch against targets in the north of Viet Nam, on Yankee Station, Task Force 38, operating about a hundred miles (+ or-) off Da Nang.

It was my second year working the flight deck on the Hancock and I was an old salt by then.

When we first went to Viet Nam, we had been operating just several miles off the coast and well within shore battery range and remember distinctly, the Gooks, firing large projectiles across the flight deck. Carriers being about 80% fuel and ammunition necessitated moving operations further to sea, which is where we were operating.

It was still dark, but the horizon was beginning to lighten and revealed partially cloudy skies as it was Monsoon (rainy) season, which affected close air support and assorted missions. I believe that we also were experiencing 'water hours' because of the increased usage of fresh water for the twin steam catapults on the bow of the Essex class carrier. It took about 700 gallons of fresh water per launch. A 'cold Cat' is when you do not have enough steam pressure to gain enough speed to become airborne. The bridle was a steel braided, 1.5 inch diameter cable, attached to hooks on the underside of the Guppy (EA-1), propeller driven aircraft. Which was a modified A-1 Sky Raider, with an interior electronics operator (with a small port hole door and bloated electronics belly, resembling a Guppy fish). Noting that the 'Operator' in this enclosed compartment, would be 'sucking saltwater' if they went in the drink. If the bridle snapped or became disengaged during a launch, it could be considered a Cold Cat launch. Usually a Spad could become airborne on a deck launch, with enough wind across the deck. But the Guppy had a lot more weight and required a Cat Shot.

I saw the Lieutenants picture on the website and remember his face and vaguely speaking with him about the Guppy and possibly getting a ride aboard, if conditions warranted. This was sometime around the John Wayne visit, which was on June 17 and 18th. The "Duke" was a big imposing man and it was a thrill for everyone to meet this legendary PATRIOT. I'm sure the Duke probably came around the Lieutenant's Ready Room and talked with them.

We had E1 "Willy Fudd's" operating aboard in VAW-11, which was the fore runner of the modern AWACS.

We also had a DET of Guppys out of Cubi, and on Yankee Station, they operated between the ship and NAS Da Nang. I remember specifically getting a camouflage Ausie hat from one of the Techs in VAW13, who purchased them in Da Nang and sold them to the troops aboard ship. They hauled them inside the electronics bay. Sold for five or six bucks.

I liked working the "Roof" as we got paid $40 bucks a month, Flight Deck/Hazardous Duty pay!

When you made only $165 a month regular pay, 40 bucks was a lot of money in Subic! In 1966, you could buy a new Mustang for 2 Grand?
Me, Smitty, Mike Murphy, Jimmie Mac and Bruce King were working the roof for GM Division providing Sidewinders to the F-8 Crusaders, Bull Pup and the new Shrike missiles to the A-4 Sky Hawks.

The AWACS and Tankers usually launched before the fighters and bombers. So the Guppy was lined up on Cat#1 and going through it's run-ups. I remember distinctly, the blue flames from the axial Chevy engines, lapping over the upper surface of the wings (which by this time were extended) and the roar of engine as the Cat Officer in his yellow helmet and floatation vest, knelt and tapped the deck (signaling the Cat operator to launch) then the hissing Thud of the catapult dragging the Guppy down the deck (which is a normal sound) then there was a sickening bang and the Guppy was pulled (tires smoking) slightly sideways to the left. The canopy was still open, as the racing engine struggled to lift the Guppy into flight, as it retch the bow, the aircraft dipped from sight and crewmen rushed toward the bow. The Lieutenant (I'm sure) was focused and fighting to get her airborne, because of the trapped operator inside the fuselage. She was leveling off, just feet above the surface of the water and he was pulling her to the right (out of the ships way and doing 35 knots) when a landing gear tipped a wave and the Guppy cart wheeled (end over front) and sank right in front of the Hancock, which passed over the Guppy. Men stood in stunned silence along the bow, it happened so quickly (as things do on the flight deck) that none of us, felt a thing, just numbness and sadness. The Post-Traumatic Shock of these incidents, affected most of us who witnessed this accident and ones much worse, for the rest of our lives. Certainly I did.

But their is a sense of pride, in having briefly known these selfless heroes, who pioneered this type of aircraft. That today's Aviators would be able to fly safer and more effectively. The word HERO is thrown about, like so many nickels today, where everybody is some kind of hero.

But John, you can truly be proud of the effort and courage that your Uncle demonstrated on the wave tossed South China Sea, just as the pioneers of Naval Aviation did against the Japs just twenty years before, on the Fighting Hanna and other carriers in the same region.

I still remember and hold our shipmates, safe from liberals in Washington and Hollywood, within this living heart and monument.

God bless his memory and all of the HEROES that are still fighting the Good Fight.


AOCS Dan Blevins (USN RET)

PS; After John Wayne ended his USO trip, he went back and made the movie The Green Berets!

Mail from Martin M. Vanover 1970-1971 WestPac Cruise responds to Dan Blevin's comments above 24 Aug 2007...

Dan Blevins,
Thanks for sharing this. I was on the 70-71 cruise in VA-164. We lost Ltjg Carter the same way. I'll never forget that day either. I seem to remember the name Blevins. Maybe we were stationed together somewhere. I spent 11 years in the Navy.

Before VA-164 I was a part-time "Spad" mechanic in VA-125. We had 2 A-1Es used for liasion dutys. I have to correct your engine call-out in the Guppy. The A-1s all had Wright R-3350s radials. I don't remember the exact horsepower but recall it was in the neighborhood of 3,000. Made enough noise for sure. Not many Chevy V-8 engines made their way into airplanes until the Airboat drags became popular about 15-20 years ago. The Airboat guys developed gearboxes for the Chevys to mount propellers on. Us airplane types have used these to power some 3/4 scale WWII fighter replicas, among other homebuilts. I have a 420 cid Chevy small block in my garage right now for my retirement project (sorta of 8 seat Piper Cub). I don't expect near the horsepower of the R-3350 but will be happy with anything over 450 hp.

Thanks again for the recount and the photos!

Best Regards,
Marty Vanover
Phoenix, Az.

A Response from Jake, the Yeoman to Wayne Erven's Mail: 1 Sept 2007:

Re: LT John Richard McDonough's loss during a coldcat launch (which really was a broken bridle at launch), WestPac '66
To: CWO3 Wayne Erven, Hancock Crew Member, 1966

Have you had your memory readjusted since you wrote this to me, Wayne?

We did have VAW-13 Det 1 aboard from Cubi Pt. So the record shows, but I had to come about that info from various different areas. If you want to know where, I'll forward that to you. OK< read the very first entry on this page of mine:
www.usshancockcv19.com/mias.htm then the Carrier's Order of Battle page here: http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/ordbat.htm

Note that there is no record of VAW-13 Det 1 on Hancock in 1966, however, below in the Footnotes section, you will note that VAW-13 was detached from Cubi to an unrecorded carrier. Reason has it that VAW-13 was aboard for either black ops or a quick stint aboard ship - perhaps doing carquals. There is no record that another crew member of VAW-13 lost his life during this incident. However, Guppies as they were referred to had another crew member aboard operating radar gear. If it was for carquals, then there is a chance they were not on any mission in country at the time. I could be mistaken, however. We did take on other non-CAG/CVW-21 planes doing such carquals, as was the case when a LT Meyer from VFP-63 lost his life on a bad trap attempt in 1963 when he slammed into the round down/fantail when I was aboard. The F8 he was flying was a P/P photo recon in from Barbers Point doing CarQuals on HANCOCK and not attached to the ship. That squadron came aboard later in the Cruise when we were in WestPac. So the mystery still goes on. Perhaps if we had copies of the Deck Log from Vietnam Era, we'd be able to find out the truth about this incident. I wish I could find them intact somewhere. I do have the WWII Deck Log, but the Post-recom years are still 'out there' -

So will we ever find out the reason why VAW-13 Det 1 was aboard? And if there was another individual lost in that casualty?

Thanks for entering into this discussion.


Mail dated 29 April 2009 from Ron Jones, AMS2 V-6 LOX CVA-19, '65-'66. Ron was a member of V-6 LOX Crew who kept a daily log, was on deck during this tragedy, saw the Navy's record of this casualty, which is noted on our Hancock Casualty Page wrote Jake:


I was just perusing your USS Hancock Air Groups Casualties and MIAs web page and noted the comments regarding LT. John R. McDonough’s accident. I was the V-6 LOX crew leader during Hancock’s ’65-’66 & ‘67 cruises, and kept a daily log during the ’65-’66 cruise.

My log entry for Monday, 20 June 1966 contains the following entry:

"EA-1F (779) was lost due to a port cold cat shot at 0300, pilot drowned BNR (Body Not Recovered), navigator and radarman rescued."

Perhaps this information is of value to you in bringing clarification to the following section of your web article: “(NOTE: Even though the EA1F was not a single-seat aircraft, no mention of other crewmembers is made in the U.S. Navy account of this incident. It is assumed that for some reason McDonough was alone in the aircraft, the other crew members were rescued, or the remainder of the crew died and their remains were recovered.)”


Ron Jones, AMS2 V-6 LOX CVA-19

Other References to this casualty are located on this site at:

This Website's USS Hancock Post Recommissioning Casualties Page
Dan Blevin's Memorial - in our Oral History Section
This Website's USS Hancock Air Group/Pilots Casualties Page

Mail dated 2 May 2009 from CWO3 (Former YNCM) Wayne Erven, YN aboard Hancock in the Captain's Office, helped to understand more clearly how record keeping was done with our Attached CAG personnel:

Hi all, I found VAW 13 website at: www.vaw-13zappers.com. On home page is Det 1 listed. When you go into that, you find the history. On page 29, left column, 3/4 down the page is the following:

"Operational losses also took their toll. On 20 June 1966, EA-1F 135010 suffered a “cold cat” off Hancock’s bow. The aircraft settled into the water and was run over by the ship. Two of the three aboard were able to escape though the pilot, LT John McDonough, did not. It was the first of two successful ditchings for Robert Carlton, who also rode sister Spad 132543 into the water on 10 September 1966 while flying from Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42) in the Gulf of Tonkin. All four in this incident were recovered by an Air Force HU-16 Albatross amphibian (see sidebar)."

As an "old personnel officer" I can say that the ship never got a list of names of people attached to the Air Wing, or Squadrons.

Each of them was a separate command, and as such, did their own paperwork. When there was a casualty, the squadron sent out all the required messages. I would assume that the CAG sent msg to VAW-l3, both Det 1 in Cubi Point NAS, and parent command.

I know that during Vietnam, people came and went, usually without orders. Occasionally someone would check in with Captain's Office, or Personnel Office, with orders. We would endorse their orders, send msg that they were on board (Added to our "sailling list"). Often we would never see them again. Paperwork-wise, it was a giant Chinese Fire Drill trying to keep track of them.

So the additional info relates to where he came from, and yes, there were 2 crewmen who were rescued.

Mail dated 28 June 2009 from William B. Cox from VAW-13 who served from August '61 - July '64...


I served in VAW-13 from Aug 61 till July 64 as an AT3 I was a ECM operator in the backseat of the EA1F formerly known as the AD5Q. I flew on and off of 7-10 carriers during my enlistment. I seriously doubt that my name would be located or associated on any of the Carrier logs because we were not a member of any Carrier Air Group until several years later. We were a RAG (Roving Air Group) that operated where needed (that does not mean "wanted" as from time to time a good accomodation might be asleep under a wing. Our Aircraft were not "Guppies" - they were "Queens".

They had a 3,350 horse powered Radial engine hanging on the front; two officers, a pilot, a Nav/Radar operator in front and two aircrew in back. We mostly trained and attempted to get vectors of and finger print Chinese and Russian fire control Radar inland Vietnam. We were not Black Ops as far as I knew but then again I was only enlisted. \

Should you like a copy, I have a pretty nice photo of a Queen in late summer '62 with two twenties under each wing.

Why 2 1/2 years before any declaration? Hmmm, maybe we were involved in black Ops.

Maybe that's what the infra-red under the wing was for: To light up targets at night.

My condolences to any relatives of the Lieutenant and any of the other KIA's during Vietnam. God Bless them all.

You have my email if you want any other info. If any other Zappers see this please have them contact me. "We Can Hack It"


Write Wiliam Cox here.

Mail dated 16 September 2009 from John E. McCue who has worn Lt. John R. McDonough's Memorial Wrist Band for many years wished to comment...

Jake, see that this Email gets sent to William B. Cox and everyone one interested please.. thanks.

I, John E.McCue have been wearing Lt.John McDonough's wrist ban (The old Nam Vet Bracelet) for some years now. I just became computer savay. I'm very much dismaid about the loss of OUR HERO, Lt.John R. McDonough's passing. I will continue to wear his wrist band for John's loved ones and a reminder to pray for his Soul, as I have a Son serving in Iraq.

God Bless John's loved ones. May they know that I, as an American, I am praying for OUR Soldier!

God Bless,

John E. McCue

Write John E. McCue here.

Mail dated 24 August 2010 from Bob Carlton regarding Lt. McDonough's loss...

Jake, I was flying with LT. John McDonough the night of the cold cat shot. From my best knowledge the problem was a result of the bridle on the starboard side (sheared?) and wrapped around the starboard main mount, causing the aircraft (EA-1F, buno 135010) to go down the cat turned 90 degrees to the right, then straight down into the water. I was a navigator and normally flew up front, beside the pilot, but was filling in for the rear seat operator or was in Sick Bay. The navigator was the late LTJG Jay LaGreggs. the EA-1F was not known as a Guppy- that was the EA-1E, which had the large APS -20 radome mounted on the belly.

The EA-1F's mission was to provide tactical electronic countermeasures to the strike force. We carried ALT- 2 jammer pods and chaff dispensers (ALE-2,I think).

I did not get out of the aircraft until it sunk, because I had no way of knowing what the situation was until I felt the tremendous impact and water completely filled the rear compartment immediately! Where the front seat occupants launched with the canopies open, not so with the 2 rear seat operators, as the rear canopies open vertically (similar to Model T hoods) and must be shut prior to start up.

I was the only rear seat occupant, as the equipment on the right side was not functioning, so we did not have an operator fly in a seat that the equipment was not "up".

I would like to state that Lt. McDonough did everything possible to overcome the situation, but there was nothing he could do to correct the mechanical failure of the bridle.

I would like to request that John's name be placed on the Vet Nam memorial list as he was lost in an operational accident in a combat zone, flying a combat mission.

Please contact me if you have any questions.
Bob Carlton

Yeoman's Note: To write Bob, Send the Yeoman your comments and I'll forward it to him. Click Here to do that.

Mail dated 9 January 2011 from Joe Crean regarding Lt. McDonough's loss...

Jake, please pass this on to Bob Carlton...

I have just come upon this site and thread about my personal friend John McDonough.

John and I graduated from Villanova University's NROTC program in 1962. He, into the USN and me into the USMC.

I was involved with the first landing of Marines in DaNang on 8 March 1965 after months aboard the USS Vancouver LPD2 and a number of trips to Subic Bay. I remember the Hancock being there at that time.

I don't remember when John McDonough went aboard the Hancock as we lost contact after Villanova.

John's high school and roomate at Villanova, Brian Reilly and I visited the Wall in DC last year and
paid our respects to John's name-yes, it is there. We didn't manage to hold it together.

A terrible loss, especially since it was an accident.

Thank you remembering my friend.

Let's remember them all.

Joe Crean

Yeoman's Note: To write Joe, Send the Yeoman your comments and I'll forward it to him. Click Here to do that.

Mail dated 15 March 2012, the Yeoman received a request to forward mail to Joe Crean...

Jake, please pass this on to Joe Crean... Joe I am John McDonough youngest brother. I am doing some research for a plaque that the Villanova ROTC Class of 1962 is dedicating to my brother this year. I was wondering if I might speak to you at some point just to go down memory lane and see if you can fill in some blanks for me. Thanks for your time,

Tim McDonough

Joe Crean responded same date...

Jake, Thanks for the info. John McDonough is a Villanova grad, class of 1962 as I am. That class is having a 50th reunion in June. Our military grads who went into the Navy and Marines are planning a memorial event in honor of John. We will gather in a reserved room appropriate for such an event and recognize John unveiling a plaque in the process. The plaque will then go on a wall in the Villanova NROTC building.

We expect about 35-45 people to attend, including about 15 marine officer classmates, and again as many Navy officers, also classmates. (Villanova, in those years commissioned about 50 Ens and 2/Lt's each year- but the Pentagon put a stop to that. Villanova had more of its grads make Admiral and General than any other source except Annapolis).

Tim McDonough is graduating and being commissioned from Villanova this year and will attend if his orders permit.

Just today, I had lunch with a high school classmate of John's and we were talking about John and the upcoming reunion. By all means, I would like to speak with Tim. Thank you for forwarding between us.


Joe Crean

Mail dated 22 May 2012, the Yeoman received from Walter Thrush...

Jake, I'd like to comment on the Lt John McDonough Threaded Email Page...First, to all who served in the Navy and Marine Corps in this thread, my sincere thanks for your service to all of us. I knew the McDonough family in South Orange, briefly met John, but was especially close to his sisters- we share the same birth date. I remember Mrs. McDonough wearing John's Wings of Gold with pride after he was lost.

As a Navy dad, to John's brothers and nephews, God Bless and protect you for carrying on in service to our country.

Fair Winds and Following Seas to the McDonough family.

The Yeoman's Note: This was added 29 May 2012.. It is a great satisfaction and comfort to me to see that LT John R. McDonough's name comes up in E-mail to me more often these days.

Memorial Day was yesterday, Monday, the 28th and to know that John is not forgotten - the Purpose of this Website is for this Reason; to see that our Veterans and Fallen Heroes are not forgotten.

I just received another Email today from Brian Reilly, another Classmate of John's Class of '62, Villanova University, who reminding me (and now you the reader), of the upcoming Reunion of that Class and the honors they will be giving John during this event.. Bob's words:

"Hello Jake. Thank you for your memorial day greetings. One of your Hancock shipmates, John R. McDonnough, was a classmate of mine at Villanova University, graduating with me in 1962. John was KIA in Viet Nam while serving as a pilot on the Hancock. The date was June 20th, 1962. We are having our 50th class reunion at Villanova during the weekend of June 8th. We have arranged to have a memorial for John, which will be on Saturday, June 8th at 11:00 to be held on campus. In our graduating class, there were some 80 officers commissioned. John was a member of the Naval ROTC program and I was a Marine. We expect to have members of John’s family participate, as well as, many of his Navy and Marine friends. The program is being coordinated through the ROTC unit.

We expect to have approximately sixty or so participants. We have prepared a commemorative plaque that will be presented to John’s family, as well as placed in the ROTC facility. John’s younger brother, Tim, is a retired Navy commander. He may have already contacted you about this event. Also, both of Tim’s sons are also Navy officers. One is a lieutenant JG and the other was just commissioned as a new naval officer last week. I believe they will all be at the ceremony. I thought you may be interested in this event. If you would like, I will send you some information on the event and take some pictures. I think you also manage a news letter and I think it may be appreciated by some of John’s shipmates and friends. Please let me know if you are interested and make any suggestions of what I can send to you. Kind regards,

Brian J. Reilly"

I will be placing here, a Link to an Additional Page of the Event once Bob sends it to me. It should contain those pictures he said he'd include.


Yeoman's Note: If you would like to leave a Memorial to our Vietnam War Naval Aviator Lossses or MIA's - you can do so by going here. Our General Guest Book (Deck Log) is located Here.

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This Website's USS Hancock Post Recommissioning Casualties Page
Dan Blevin's Memorial - in our Oral History Section
Send Email regarding any comments found here or about Lt John R. McDonough to Jake
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