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Home Town Los Angeles
Last Address Los Angeles
Casualty Date May 03, 1945
Cause Hostile, Died
Reason Artillery, Rocket, Mortar
Conflict World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
Location of Interment Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates Not Specified
Last Known Activity
LT (jg) Robert McKay "The only Supply Corps Officer to be awarded the Silver Star"
From the time we enter the Navy, it is stressed that we are Naval Officers first. The Supply Corps' guiding principles state "We are first and foremost Naval Officers, integral members of the warfighting team focused on mission accomplishment."
Lieutenant (jg), Supply Officer
Bob was killed in action.
"Bob, our Supply Officer, was killed in action; the only officer we lost on 3 May 1945. He was brilliant, friendly, helpful, well liked, and well respected. Bob suffered terribly with chronic seasickness when at sea. This was aggravated by the fact that he stood watches in the coding shack--a tiny closet-like space without fresh air. He refused to be relieved of this duty and was determined to stick it out. Because of his chronic condition, he finally consented to be transferred to shore duty at the first opportunity, an opportunity that never came.
After being discharged from active duty and returning home to San Diego, I always made an effort to contact family of those lost in action. George Hansell, Chief Yeoman, now had duty in San Diego, and we were in touch. Bob McKay was survived by his mother, a brother and sister. We managed to contact Bob’s mother, Lucille, and became well-acquainted with her through several visits to her home in Hollywood. Through these visits we learned that Bob had been Student Body President while attending the University of Southern California (USC) and was also elected President of the National Association of Student Body Presidents. Aboard ship, he was quiet and unassuming. Most had no idea of his accomplishments. His mother (she said we should call her “Mom”) was devastated over his loss and never really recovered. Bob’s father had been a loyal caretaker for Mary Pickford for many years and when he died, there was little for Mom McKay to live on. Mom always thought Ms. Pickford could and should have done more. Bob’s brother was a cameraman for one of the Hollywood movie studios. On one trip to see Mom, we attended the dedication of a cenotaph bearing the name of Robert Neil McKay. This was in a huge Hollywood cemetery. It was tough on Mom McKay. I wish I could remember the name of the cemetery. To the best of my recollection, Mom McKay passed away in the late 40s, a heartbroken woman."–W. Fowers