Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: David

Last Name: McDonald

Birthplace: Maysville, GA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Lamar

Date of Birth: 12 September 1906

Date of Death: 16 December 1997

Rank or Rate: Admiral

Years Served: 1928-1967
David Lamar McDonald

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1928

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


David Lamar McDonald

Admiral, U.S. Navy

David Lamar McDonald was born on 12 September 1906 in Maysville, GA. McDonald originally sought to go to the U.S. Military Academy, receiving a nomination from Representative Thomas Montgomery Bell of the 9th Congressional District. After learning he was 2 months and 12 days too young, he opted to attend Riverside Military Academy first, then entered the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in 1928.

Prior to becoming a naval aviator, McDonald was assigned to the battleship USS Mississippi (BB-41) and the battleship USS Colorado (BB-45). He spent three years, 1935-38, as a flight instructor at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Pensacola, FL. Between 1938 and 1955, he served as Flag Secretary of the aircraft command of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet; Commander of the Naval Operational Training Command; Executive Officer of the aircraft carrier USS Essex (CV-9) in the Pacific; and Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

During the mid-1950s, McDonald Commanded the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea (CV-43). In the early 1960s, before becoming Chief of Naval Operations, he served as Commander, Sixth Fleet.

On 1 April 1963, McDonald was promoted to the four-star rank of Admiral and assigned as Commander in Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Commander in Chief, U.S. Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean (CINCUSNAVEUR/CINCNELM. He became the 17th Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) in May 1963 and served until 1967. At the time of his selection as CNO, he was the youngest Admiral in the Navy, and had only received his fourth star a month earlier.


The airfield at Naval Station Mayport, FL, is named after McDonald.


Referencing his participation in the escalation of the Vietnam War:

"Maybe we military men were all weak. Maybe we should have stood up and pounded the table...I was part of it and I'm sort of ashamed of myself too. At times I wonder, "why did I go along with this stuff?"

Death and Burial

Admiral David Lamar McDonald died on 16 December 1997 in Jacksonville Beach, FL. He is buried at the United States Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, MD. His wife, Catherine Lois Anderson, is buried next to him.

Honoree ID: 595   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image