RADM Gerald W. MacKay, USN (Ret)
April 7, 1936 ~ August 10, 2017
Rear Admiral Gerald Wallace MacKay, USN Ret. passed away peacefully at his home in San Carlos, his wife Linda, at his side.
Jerry was born in Truro, Nova Scotia Canada, moving to Boston at age 8. There he attended Boston Technical H.S. After graduation he joined the United States Navy Reserve Submarine Service. At age 20 he was commissioned an Ensign and designated as a Naval Aviator at Hutchinson Kansas, October 16, 1956.
RADM MacKay flew multiple aircraft while performing Anti-Submarine and Patrol missions amassing over 4500 flight hours flying P-2V and P-3 aircraft over the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.
His first duty assignment was with Patrol Squadron Sixteen flying the P-2 Neptune. Here he qualified as a Patrol Plane Commander while serving as Avionics Officer as well as Air Intelligence Officer. Deployments were to Iceland, Africa and Newfoundland. In 1959, MacKay reported to Naval Air Development at South Weymouth, Massachusetts where he served as a Research and Development Project Officer. He then worked at Grumman Aircraft as an aircraft acceptance test pilot. Next he was ordered to the aircraft carrier Lake Champlain and received his qualification as Officer of the Deck Underway. In June 1967, Jerry joined Patrol Squadron Thirty-One first as Operations Officer and then as Training Officer.
RADM Mackay held Command of six aviation organizations during his distinguished Naval career including Patrol Squadron Six, Patrol Squadron Thirty-One, Commander Patrol Wing One/ Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Force Seventh Fleet/ CTF 72, Commander Patrol Wings Pacific, and Commander of U S Naval Forces Japan. He considered his coordination of the sea rescue of thousands of refugees fleeing Vietnam to be one of his greatest accomplishments. Jerry's final Navy assignment was as Deputy Comptroller of the Navy.
RADM MacKay's military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Navy Commendation Medals, Navy Achievement Medal, the Navy Expeditionary medal and the Vietnam Service Medal. He was honored in Japan and Korea with the Second Class Medal of the Sacred Treasure, and the Third Class Medal of the Rising Sun and the Order of National Security Merit, respectively. His Navy career spanned thirty-two years, rising to the rank of Rear Admiral.
Jerry retired from the Navy in 1986 in San Carlos, CA. He then began his career in the electronics industry. He closed out his civilian career as President of Advent Systems in 2005. Jerry was an active member of the Fellowship Forum, the Naval Order of the United States, the Association of Naval Aviation, the Coyote Point Yacht Club, the St. Andrews Society, and the Sons in Retirement.
He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Linda Seaton of Richland Washington. Our family includes the Patricia Ford family, the Finnegan family, the Seaton family and the Henton family. We would also like to acknowledge our extended families: the Havens, Stamms, Sullivans and Castros.
A funeral mass will be held at St. Charles Catholic Church, San Carlos CA on Thursday, September 21st, 4:00 pm. Military honors for Admiral MacKay will be conducted at Gate of Heaven Catholic Cemetery, Friday September 22nd at 10:00, 22555 Cristo Rey Drive, Los Altos, CA.