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John R. McCormick

Company L-2

27 Sep 1938 - 30 Apr 2014

Place of Death: Corpus Christi, TX

Interment: Seaside Memorial Park, Corpus Christi, TX

It is with great sorrow and regret that we must notify you of the death of our Classmate, Mac McCormick, on April 30, 2014, in Corpus Christi, TX, of natural causes. 

Mac is survived by daughters Bettina McCormick and Aimee Ford; grandchildren Victoria, Grace, Grant, Estrella and Temple; and sister Beverly Joy Weber and her husband J. P. Weber. 

Visitation will be at Seaside Funeral Home Chapel, 4357 Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi, TX  78412 on May 17th from 12 to 2 PM.  A funeral service will follow at 2 PM with burial on the grounds with military honors. 

Condolences may be sent to Beverly Weber at 101 N. Upper Broadway, Apt. 1108, Corpus Christi, TX  78401 or by email to 

 In lieu of flowers, donations in Mac’s memory may be made to Veterans Inc., 69 Grove Street, Worcester, MA  01605.  To donate over the Internet, go to 

Well done, Mac.  Be thou at peace.


Class Memorial Pages\L-2 Mac McCormick.pdf


John R. McCormick, U.S. Army Major (Ret.) passed away peacefully Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 in Corpus Christi, TX of natural causes.

John Rickert McCormick was born in Sewickley, PA on September 27, 1938 to Mary Rickert and Arthur E. McCormick.  A 1961 West Point graduate, John spent two tours in Vietnam and retired at the rank of Major with a highly decorated record of service that shows constant valor.  His McCormick’s Raiders were written about in David Reed’s book, “Up Front in Vietnam” as well as being featured on NBC and CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite.

With his fluency in French and world experience he dedicated his civilian life to the education of others.

Utilizing his Masters Degree in both French and Administrative Education, he shaped young minds teaching Physics, Math and French at Moody High School for over 22 years and also taught in Quebec, Canada as a Fulbright Exchange Teacher.

In retirement he volunteered at the USS Lexington, Museum on the Bay.  And in his last years he reached out to our nations soldiers by sharing his deepest struggles and how he survived to tell about them (See: War Hero Reaches Out to Help Soldiers).

John is survived by his sister Beverly Joy Weber; brother-in-law, J.P. Weber; daughters, Bettina McCormick and Aimee Ford, and grandchildren Victoria, Grace, Grant, Estrella and Temple.

A funeral service will be held at 2:00 pm, Saturday, May 17th at the Seaside Funeral Home Chapel, followed by a burial on the grounds with military honors.  Visitation will be held before the service that day, from noon to 2:00 pm.  (4357 Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78412 / Telephone: 361-992-9411)

Condolences may be sent to Beverly Weber at 101 N. Upper Broadway, Apt. 1108, Corpus Christi, TX 78401 or by email to <>.

 In lieu of flowers, donations in John’s memory may be made to Veterans Inc. - Serving Veterans and Their Families Across America -

Assembly/Taps Memorial Article:


Cullum No. 23553-1961 | April 30, 2014 | Died in Corpus Christi, TX
Interred in Seaside Memorial Cemetery, Corpus Christi, TX


John Rickert “Mac” McCormick was born in Sewickley, PA on September 27, 1938 to Mary Rickert and Arthur E. McCormick. The family soon relocated to Corpus Christi, TX, where Mac received his entire secondary education in public schools. He also earned one year of college credits before being appointed to the U.S. Military Academy, joining the Class of 1961. Mac was a model cadet at West Point, demonstrating outstanding leadership skills, which he continued to hone during his illustrious military career. He had no difficulty meeting the demanding academic, physical, and military requirements of the Academy, and he often exceeded those requirements.

Upon graduation in June 1961 Mac was commissioned a lieutenant in the Armor branch. After successfully completing both the Army Ranger and Airborne schools, followed by attendance at the Armor Officer Basic Course at Fort Knox, KY, he served a three-year tour of duty in a tank battalion in Germany. Then, the war in Vietnam beckoned, and Mac served the first of his two tours there in 1966-67. He was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment as C.O. of Headquarters Troop. His exploits, and those of his men, are recalled by correspondent David Reed in his 1967 book Up Front in Vietnam. While stationed in a base camp in Cu Chi, Mac organized a group of combat support soldiers, cooks, and clerks mostly into a raider fighting force to ambush enemy infiltrators. He led his raiders several times each week over a five-month period. He never lost one of his own men. Mac returned home in 1967 a hero and a bit of a celebrity, and McCormick’s raiders accomplishments were featured on NBC and the “CBS Evening News” with Walter Cronkite. Mac was promoted to major on June 17, 1968.

For the next four years, academics, in particular the French language, dominated Mac’s life: a year to study in Paris, where he received three French diplomas, followed by a master’s degree at Columbia University, and then three very enjoyable years teaching French to cadets at West Point. But, then, Vietnam beckoned once again. His second tour in Vietnam was very different from his first one. Mac served as an operations officer in a Special Operations unit operating on the border of Cambodia and in Cambodia itself. He flew in more than 250 combat missions. Although two aircraft were shot out from under him, he survived the hard landings unscathed. Operations he planned accounted for more than 1,200 confirmed enemy killed in action. But something was very different when it was time to return home. “I slept on the plane almost all the way home,” McCormick recalled. “I was just emotionally spent. The sense of responsibility was so strong, that when it was lifted from me, I just collapsed. I didn’t want to do it anymore.” Mac could not forget what happened in Vietnam; it was his obsession. After returning from that second tour in Vietnam he was medically retired from the Army in 1974 as a major. His many military awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with oak leaf cluster and “V” device for valor, Army Commendation with oak leaf cluster, 10 Air Medals, and several Vietnamese medals. 

Upon leaving the Army he landed a job at an employment agency and quickly rose to office manager. But he turned to alcohol, just to help him sleep at first. He lost that first civilian job and his marriage suffered. “I was destroying a marriage and didn’t care. I finally got to sleep at night.” He survived deep depression and became addicted to alcohol. However, he overcame his substance abuse and came out with a message for today’s troops who face the same fight he fought himself: You can conquer it all, but you don’t have to go it alone. John McCormick was a survivor. He survived two combat tours in Vietnam and came out a hero.

Mac then headed back to the classroom and completed a second master’s degree, this time in education. He began teaching at Moody High School in Corpus Christi in 1976, teaching mathematics, physics, and French for 22 years. He also taught in Quebec, Canada as a Fulbright Exchange teacher. He did public speaking and supported military organizations until his passing. “It really means a lot to me,” he said, “if I can help one soldier by telling my story.” One example of this was his volunteering at the USS Lexington Museum, where he conducted guided tours of the aircraft carrier. The military always remained the focal point of his life. Mac passed away of natural causes on April 30, 2014. He was a highly decorated officer who demonstrated exemplary service to our country. He was buried with full military honors in Seaside Memorial Park in Corpus Christi. He is survived by daughters Bettina McCormick and Aimee Ford and five grandchildren.

— Harry Rennagel, classmate