McDonald, Wesley Lee, ADM

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1982-1985, 9421, USCINCLANT
Service Years
1943 - 1985

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

28 kb

Home State
District Of Columbia
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Thomas Rigg, YN1 to remember McDonald, Wesley Lee, ADM.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Washington, DC
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Feb 09, 2009
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
7A 130-D

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
United States Navy Memorial Military Order of the Carabao
  2018, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2018, Military Order of the Carabao

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

[From the Washington Post 2009]

McDonald, Admiral Wesley L. USN (Ret.) passed away peacefully on February 8, 2009 after a long illness. He is survived by his wife Helen, and children, Tom, Kathy, Joy and Toni, 8 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. McDonald graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1946. He began his Navy career as a naval aviator in 1950, serving in several carrier fighter and attack squadrons. In 1964, he took command of Attack Squadron VA-56 flying A-4 Skyhawks aboard USS Ticonderoga. On August 5, 1964 he served as flight leader for Operation Pierce Arrow, the first retaliatory strike against North Vietnam following the Gulf of Tonkin incident. McDonald's career led him to the highest levels of the United States Navy. He attended the National Defense University graduating in 1969. From 1970-1971 he commanded the aircraft carrier, USS Coral Sea. In 1972, he was promoted to Rear Admiral, serving as the carrier group commander. He later served as deputy chief of Naval Personnel in Washington, DC and after promotion to Vice Admiral served as Commander U.S. Second Fleet. In 1982, he was promoted to Admiral and was appointed Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic, one of two senior commanders in NATO. At the same time, he assumed command of the U.S. Atlantic Command and U.S. Atlantic Fleet. In 1983 McDonald, in his role as Commander in Chief of the Atlantic, was placed in overall command of Operation Urgent Fury, the invasion of Grenada to rescue U.S. nationals. Since his retirement from the Navy in 1985, McDonald played an active role in the aviation community in his leadership positions with the National Aeronautic Association and National Aviation Club. McDonald also served on the boards of the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation, the U.S. Naval Aviation Museum and the Armed Services YMCA. His first wife, Norma, died in 1989. McDonald later remarried and lived in Arlington, Virginia with his wife Helen. McDonald's awards included the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and awards from several European and South American nations.
Other Comments:

Outline of major duties and commands other than that of pilot:
Instructor: NABTC NAS Pensacola  10/48-8/50
Maintenance Officer: VFA-192  6/57-7/59
Instructor: Naval War College  7/59-6/60
Flag Secretary and Aide: Carrier Division 3  6/60-7/62
Executive Officer: VA-56  1/63-2/64
Commanding Officer: VA-56  2/64-3/65
Operation Officer: Readiness Attack Carrier Airwing 12  3/65-7/65
Commanding Officer: USS Hermitage (LSD-34)  7/69-9/70
Commanding Officer: USS Coral Sea (CVA-43)  9/70-10/71
Commander: Carrier Division 3  9/72-1/74
Deputy Chief of Personnel: Bureau of Naval Personnel  8/75-7/77
Commander: US 2nd Fleet  7/77-7/79
Deputy Chief Management Officer: Office of the Chief of Naval Operations  7/70-10/82
Commander in Chief: Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic, US Atlantic Command, US Atlantic Fleet  10/82-11/85

 Tributes from Members  
From YN1 Thom Rigg posted by Myers, Sheila Rae (TWS Memorial Team), HM3 90
 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar
Naval Aviator Wings

 Duty Stations/ Advancement Schools
NAS Jacksonville FLUSS Philippine Sea (CV-47)NAS PensacolaVF-12 Clincher
VF-72 Hells AngelsUS NavyVA-192 Golden DragonsNaval War College (Staff)
VA-125 Rough RidersVA-56Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVAIRPAC)Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS)
USS Hermitage (LSD-34)USS Coral Sea (CVA-43)NAS Corpus Christi/Truax FieldCNO - OPNAV
Commander-in-Chief, US Atlantic Fleet (CINCLANTFLT)USCINCLANT
  1946-1946, 131X, NAS Jacksonville FL
  1946-1948, 131X, USS Philippine Sea (CV-47)
  1948-1950, 131X, NAS Pensacola
  1950-1953, 131X, VF-12 Clincher
  1953-1954, 131X, VF-72 Hells Angels
  1954-1957, 131X, NAAS Kingsville, TX
  1957-1959, 131X, VA-192 Golden Dragons
  1959-1960, 131X, Naval War College (Staff)
  1960-1962, 131X, Carrier Division 3 (COMCARDIV 3)
  1962-1963, 131X, VA-125 Rough Riders
  1963-1965, 131X, VA-56
  1965-1965, Readiness Attack Carrier Air Wing 12 (RCVW-12)
  1966-1968, Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS)
  1969-1970, 111X, USS Hermitage (LSD-34)
  1970-1971, 111X, USS Coral Sea (CVA-43)
  1971-1972, 13th Naval District
  1972-1973, 9421, Carrier Division 3 (COMCARDIV 3)
  1974-1975, 131X, Naval Air Training Center, NAS Corpus Christi/Truax Field
  1975-1977, Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS)
  1979-1982, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air Warfare), Deputy Chief of Naval Operations
  1982-1985, Commander-in-Chief, US Atlantic Fleet (CINCLANTFLT)
  1982-1985, 9421, USCINCLANT
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1950-1953 Korean War
  1960-1973 Vietnam War
  1978-1979 Operation Deep Freeze 1978
  1983-1983 Operation Urgent Fury (Grenada)
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval AcademyNaval War College
  1943-1946, United States Naval Academy
  1968-1969, Naval War College
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  WWII draft card
  Jun 05, 1946, Commissioned as Ensign
  Jun 05, 1949, Promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade
  Jun 01, 1952, Promoted to Lieutenant
  Feb 01, 1958, Promoted to Lieutenant Commander
  Jul 01, 1962, Promoted to Commander
  Jul 01, 1967, Promoted to Captain
  Jul 01, 1967, Promoted to Captain
  Jul 01, 1972, Promoted to Rear Admiral
  Jul 02, 1977, Promoted to Vice Admiral
  Oct 01, 1982, Promoted to Admiral
  Feb 08, 2009, Arlington National Cemetery1
  Sep 15, 2018, General Photos1
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