Saturday, June 22, 2024

Avenue of Heroes: John “Jack” Webster McCormick

Updated 07/18/2023

Prepared by: Celeste McCormick Benn (daughter)

Captain John ‘Jack’ Webster McCormick was born in Laurel, Mississippi, in 1913. He was one of ten children, three of which went on to serve in the military. He attended the United States Naval Academy, graduating in 1935.

His first duty was as an assistant navigator on the cruiser USS Minneapolis (CA-36). He then served on the destroyer USS Wasmuth (DD-338), and the USS Capella (AK-13). He served as Engineering Officer during the fitting out of the new destroyer USS Bancroft (DD-256) and served aboard her during the ship’s first six months at sea. He did the same with the USS Maddox (DD-158). He also saw destroyer service on the USS Barry (DD-248) and the USS Cole (DD-155) before being sent to the Naval Post Graduate School to study marine design engineering.

In December 1941, he married Marjory ‘Jerry’ Monticone of Newport, Rhode Island. The war interrupted his studies and sent him to duty as Assistant, Engineering Officer aboard the battleship New Jersey (BB- 62). In 1944, he was promoted to Commander and Engineering Officer during a shake-down cruise in the western Atlantic and Caribbean
during WWII. Jack earned nine battle stars and a Commendation Ribbon with Combat “V”. After the war, his family grew by two sons and two daughters.

In 1946 Capt. McCormick began a long series of advancements as a ship designer and builder at the Philadelphia Shipyard and later in Washington, D.C. and Norfolk, Virginia; production officer at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard; and Commanding Officer of the Ship
Repair Facility in Yokosuka, Japan. His last active duty was as Navy Shipbuilding Liaison Officer in Europe based in the Netherlands and overseeing facilities in Madrid and Lisbon. After the Navy, Capt. McCormick held executive engineering posts with General Dynamics
and Harco Engineering Co.

Capt. McCormick was a Eucharistic Minister at Sacred Heart Church and a member of the Holy Name Society. He was a volunteer in the Coronado Hospital Auxiliary for many years, a member of the Coronado Tennis Association, and the Hotel del Coronado Beach and Tennis Club.

He is interred at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery along with his wife and son, Ensign John Webster McCormick, Jr. who died in the Vietnam conflict.

The Avenue of Heroes Program is a military service recognition program sponsored by the City of Coronado. Introduced in 2014, the program has honored 230 hometown heroes to date. On May 20, 2023, another 15 were honored. City staff and volunteers from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2422, the Coronado Historical Association and the Third and Fourth Streets Neighborhood Association oversee its operation. In 2011, the program was inspired spontaneously with the movement of two Navy SEALs to their final resting place. News spread quickly throughout the city and the local Rotary Club passed out American flags. People lined Fourth Street to honor the fallen service members. As the procession approached the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, a lone Navy SEAL stood at attention, saluting as he waited for the passage of his comrades. At that moment, it was clear that Third and Fourth streets were already an Avenue of Heroes. From that spontaneous beginning, the program was launched in May 2015 with 18 banners. Ceremonies are held twice yearly and men and women with ties to the community have been recognized from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The Avenue of Heroes program is a reminder that Coronado has a rich history and legacy of service to country.

Edited July 18, 2023 to correct the USS Barry ship number.

Bella Villarin
Bella Villarin
Bella is a proud military brat who has been a resident of Coronado since 2015. She was born in Japan, and after a short stay in Virginia, traveled extensively throughout Asia while living in Singapore and picking up another language. A senior at Coronado High School, Bella can be found at the driving range or golf course when not in school, studying, writing, playing the guitar, or spending time with her family. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]

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