On May 22, 2021 on his 89th birthday, Hibernian Brother Jack McCormick was inducted into the New York State Veteran’s Hall of Fame. NYS Senator Phil Boyle (also a Hibernian Brother) bestowed the honor on Brother McCormick for his selfless service to our country, which spanned 40-years.
Jack McCormick joined the US Marines during the Korean War and was involved at the Battle of Inchon in September 1950. Brother McCormick was promoted to Sargent in 1952. Jack stayed on in various positions and destinations being stationed in the Philippines, Japan, Hawaii, Quantico and even Brooklyn! In 1961 Brother McCormick joined the New York City Police Department and retired in 1982.
In 1975, after the Vietnam War, the military was having a hard time getting troops to enlist. The NYPD and other NYC units were allowed to go into the Reserves. At age 43, Brother McCormick joined the Air Force Reserves on December 7, 1975 as a Sergeant (E-4).
Jack McCormick was on active duty at Robbins Air Force Base, GA at the Security Police Headquarters when Desert Storm was upon us in 1991. His unit, 514 th Security Police Flight was being activated to go overseas so his orders at Robbins AFB were canceled and he returned to McGuire AFB, NJ. Brother McCormick finished out his career at McGuire AFB in New Jersey. Brother McCormick spent 16+ years in the USAF Reserves and his last assignment was Superintendent of the 514 th Security Police Flight and retired at age 60 as Senior Master Sergeant (E-8) in May 1992.
Brother Jack McCormick’s military career spanned from the Korean War to Desert Storm. Brother McCormick is a very active member of St. Patrick’s Division 2 in Babylon, Long Island and is also the Pro-Life Chairman. Congratulations Jack!
Meet John J. McCormick
My name is John J. McCormick. I was born on the 22 of May 1932 in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The 3rd child of nine; I was the eldest of the boys. This was the depression era. I later learned that my father was away working on a boat in Upstate New York on Lake Champlain with his brother and my Godfather. This meant that money was sent home via Western Union once a month. We lived in a cold-water flat without hot water or heat. We also had an ice-box. At that time, there was no loose money so I never had a penny to spend on candy. The year was 1939 and I observed that the Peddler, with a horse & wagon, that went around Greenpoint, selling his potatoes and other goods, didn’t have a kid working with him, so I asked if he needed a kid. He said yes, so I found out where the cow barn was and Saturdays, I went and helped to load the potatoes, onions, and fruit on the wagon. This was on the 2nd of September, 1939. The war that started with the invasion of Poland was on the 1st of September 1939. My wage at that time was 25¢ a day plus tips (which were very scarce). My job was to bring up whatever the customer ordered, to their apartment. This job lasted until 1942, when I left to work in Thomas Roulston’s Grocery Store as a delivery boy. After I left the peddler, my younger brother (born in 1934) started to work for the peddler. While I worked for Roulston, it was mostly for tips.
My father left Upstate, NY and got a job with NJ Central on the boats that were called “Lighter Boats” with different goods to be delivered in New York. I left school at age 16 and worked full time in Roulston’s as a clerk. After, I turned 17, I saw a friend, Tinker Kelty, walking down Guernsey Street in a Sailor Uniform. After he told me he enlisted in the US Navy and I said “I am going to the recruiter to enlist”. But to my surprise, the recruiter said I couldn’t join because I bit my nails but he could put me into the Navy Reserve and told me to report to the Navy Yard in Brooklyn which was far from where I lived. So, in July 1949 I went to The Navy Yard and reported with the Supervisor on duty. I explained my situation and they gave me a tour of the submarine. Finally, after going to the Navy Yard for 4 months, I decided to check-out the Marine Recruiter on Oct 31, 1949 and I was accepted but had to bring one of my parents to sign me up. My mother came with me to the recruiter and signed paperwork for me to join the Marines. This was in November 1949. The classes had already started at Parris Island so I would be in the January 1950 class. After finishing training, and going home for 2 weeks leave, I was immediately transported to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina so as we could volunteer to join the 6th Marines to go on a Med Cruise. I was going to raise my hand when a recruit who was about 23 years of age, and was a prior Merchant Marine, told me it wasn’t worth it, so I changed my mind.
So I was at Camp Lejeune until the 26th of June, 1950 when the Korean war started. Everything was closed down at the base so no one could leave. We packed our bags and got on the Troop Train headed to California where we ended up at San Diego Recruit Station. We then boarded a ship headed for Kobe, Japan. July 1950. We were loading/unloading ammunition on LSTs (boats). I remember our ship sailing up and down the South China Sea and then on the morning of September 15, 1950 I heard a loud “bang”…it rocked the ship I was on. When I got up on the upper deck, I was able to see a big ship (along with many more ships ), along with fighter planes firing at and dropping bombs on Inchon, Korea. We then spent the next 14 months in Korea (North and South).
I made Sergeant March 1952.
After Korea and approximately 2 month leave, I went back to Camp Lejeune where I stayed for 2 years. Then I went to Puerto Rico (Vieques) for 2 months on maneuvers. Upon my return from Puerto Rico, I was stationed at The Brooklyn Navy Yard and worked in the 3rd Naval District Brig (which I didn’t like-it was like prison). July 1954 I got orders to report to Barber’s Point Naval Air Station in Oahu, Hawaii. I was there for about 18months until I was transferred to Kaneohe, Hawaii due to an incident between 2 guards on duty – one accidentally shot and killed the other. As I was their Sergeant, I was demoted to Corporal (I was blamed for “failure to properly instruct in the handling of a 45” which was ridiculous because we all received constant training). The year was 1959 and we would go to maneuvers in the Philippines.
After Hawaii, I transferred back to the US to Quantico, VA (July/August1956) where I remained for 2 years. While there, I had many different jobs including IBM work, caretaker on the Baseball Field, and became the manager for the Quantico Basketball Team.
After Quantico, I received orders for Okinawa, Japan (August 1958) for 14 months. I was on the handball team there and won the championship of 1959. I still have the trophy. I was in the 3rd MEF (Marine Expeditionary Force). We sailed up and down the South China Sea, preparing to go into Laos, which was called off. It was then time for me to return to the United States, Treasure Island, for about a month before transferring to Camp Pendleton, California where I decided to not re-enlist because I was on the waiting list to be appointed as a New York City Police Officer. I came back to New York 1960. I activated my name on the list but was turned down because I had a medical problem with my ear. It took me another 13 months to get the issue taken care of and was appointed to the New York City Police Department in May 1961. After training I was assigned to the 32 Precinct in Harlem, NY as a patrolman and was there for 4 years, before going into “Plain Clothes” at the 14th division. I didn’t really like Plain Clothes so I transferred to the 103rd Precinct in 1965 (where I retired from in 1982 on a disability pension).
Time flies and in 1975, after the Vietnam war, when the military was having a hard time getting troops to enlist. The NYPD and other city units were allowed to go into the Reserves. I joined the Air Force Reserves at age 43 on December 7, 1975 as a Sergeant (E-4).
I was on active duty at Robbins Air Force Base, Georgia at the Security Police Headquarters when Desert Storm was upon us in 1991. My unit, 514th Security Police Flight was being activated to go overseas so my orders at Robbins AFB were canceled and I returned to McGuire AFB, NJ as I had orders activating me so that I would be with my troops. The Generals ended up calling it off and my unit did not deploy. I finished out my time at McGuire AFB/ I spent 16.5 years in the USAF Reserves and my last assignment was Superintendant of the 514th Security Police Flight and retired at age 60 as Senior Master Sergeant (E-8) in May 1992.
While in the AF Reserves I attended many schools, including the Air Force Senior NCO Academy.