Corneliusa "Mac" McCafferty, born September 24, 1940 in Mansfield, OH. enlisted in Marine Corps Reserve while still in high school and did his basic training at Paris Island. Leaving the Corps he joined the Navy in August of 1960 and served onboard ship out of Norfolk, making a Wespac in 1968. He volunteered for duty in country and following NIOTC, SERE and Language School he joined Iron Butterfly, RIVDIV 593 in December of 1968. He took part in some of the heaviest combat of the war on operation Giant Slingshot.
On February 17, 1969 Mac was boat captain of the cover boat of a two-boat patrol working on the upper Vam Co Dong River when the patrol came under heavy automatic weapons and rocket fire. His boat took a direct hit in the coxswains flat mortally wounding Petty Officer McCafferty and wounding all other crewmembers.
Although with the division, only a short time he had proven to be a very reliable man in a firefight and was highly respected by everyone in the outfit.
His widow Susan survives Petty Officer McCafferty, two daughters, Julia, and Kasey, a son, Michael Patrick, his parents, and two sisters. Michael, his son, died in a car accident February 19, 1987.
His mother Elsie said the only heartache he ever caused was losing him and she will grieve for him until she dies. The family is in touch with members of Iron Butterfly and they, in turn, have added to the division family. Mac was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart posthumously for the action that took his life; he is missed.
Click here to close this window.