John J. Marcil was born October 14, 1923 in to parents George Marcil and Juliette Marcil in Cohoes, New York. Nicknamed "Jack". His family moved to Troy, New York in 1937 and he attended School 14 then Catholic Central High School (CCHS) as part of the class of 1941. Today, West Hall Building on the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) campus. His yearbook photo caption read: "Half-laughing, half-serious, Is tall, blond Jack; Friendliness to everyone He doesn't lack."
During 1943, Marcil joined the U. S. Coast Guard (USCG) and was trained as an electrician. In October 1943, Marcil had a brief leave and visited his hometown and visited Catholic Central High School (CCHS). Coincidentally, three of his friends and classmates from the class of 1941 from the same senior yearbook page were also home on leave. The four classmates and friends: Jack Marcil, John F. McGrath, Howard D. McAlonie and Alfred E. Mahoney were photographed walking down the steps of the school wearing their uniforms. Later, this photograph appeared in the CCHS Catholicon Yearbook 1944 as the dedication page.
Assigned to the crew of Submarine Chaser PC-556 in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO). While home on leave during 1945, Marcil met
Miss Marilyn Frank at the mid-city pool in Menands, New York after she graduated from Albany High School and saw each other everyday for five days until he returned to duty. Afterwards, they wrote each other everyday. Next, assigned to the crew of USS LST-169. On October 9, 1945 survived a typhoon with 80 knot (92 mph) winds and 30'-35' waves that grounded his ship in Buckner Bay off Okinawa. During 1946 he was honorably discharged having achieved the rank of Electrician's Mate, First Class (EM1).
Marcil graduated Siena College and in 1948 married Marilyn and continued to live in Albany, NY.
Marcil passed away April 29, 2020 at age 96. Memorial services are pending.
A Troy Military Banner with his name and photograph that is hanging at 9 1st St, Troy, NY.
Marcil earned the Navy Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.
Marilyn (née Frank) Marcil (wife)
1930 United States Federal Census - John Marcil
CCHS Catholicon Yearbook 1941 page 71 (photo, lower right)
CCHS Catholicon Yearbook 1944 page 4 (dedication page) page 5 (photo)
The Record "Remembering military heroes: Biographies from Troy Military Banners" October 5, 2019
"Jack [Marcil] was born in Cohoes in 1923. His family moved to Troy in 1937. He is a graduate of School 14, Catholic Central High School and Siena College. He enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1942. He achieved the rank of Electricians Mate, First Class and saw action in both the European and Pacific Theatres. He served on Coastal Patrol vessels (Including PC 556 and LST’s. He was discharged in 1946. Jack currently lives in Westmere with Marilyn, his bride of 71 years."
The Troy Banner Committee - Marcil, Jack (banner photo)
Associated Press "Old yearbook photo spurs effort to find missing WWII pilot" by Chris Carola February 16, 2018
"Marcil, the 94-year-old Coast Guard veteran, plans to attend. He’s the last of the four servicemen in the old photo still living (Mahoney died in 2005). He said he remembers his three classmates well, especially McGrath, but there was one thing he didn't know about the tall, skinny young man. “I didn't realize he was as smart as he was,” Marcil said. “You have to be pretty smart to become a Navy flier."
WNYT "Man on quest to give MIA WWII Troy Navy pilot a proper burial" by WNYT Staff February 21, 2018
"A photographer happened to capture them. From left to right, you see John Marcil, a Coast Guardsman -- who is the only surviving of the friends and is 94 years old."
WNYT "Then & Now: A mission to bring home John McGrath" by Karen Tararache February 21, 2018 via Wayback Machine
"The war has been over almost 75 years now," Jack Marcil said. We start with 94-year-old Jack Marcil. 'I can't remember what happened yesterday," he laughed. Jack was a member of the Coast Guard during World War II. He openly admits he feared death daily and wasn't alone. "Anyone that tells you different either wasn't there or is making up stories," he insisted."
CBS6 WRGB Albany "RPI, Pacific Wrecks identifies remains of plane flown by WWII pilot from Troy" by Emily DeFecian July 30, 2019
"Same page of the yearbook, all of us, Marcil, McGrath, McAlonie, and Mahoney, so all M's... There's not many of us left. Of these guys in this picture, I'm the last one standing," said Marcil."
WNYT "Navy veterans, 94 and 96, recognized in Guilderland for their service" November 7, 2019
"At age 94 and 96, respectively, it was the first time Howard J. Fox and Jack Marcil had met. Each joined the U.S. Navy out of high school. Marcil was 18. They were both in Southern France during WWII and joked that they didn't see each other there. Marcil served in the U.S. Navy and participated in the invasion of Southern France in 1944 and was onboard LST 169 headed to Japan when the war ended. He spent time stationed at Norfolk, Boston, Alameda, and Brooklyn. He served in the Operation Dragoon in Southern France and the Pacific Theater Defense. For his heroism, he was presented the Navy Good Conduct Medal, the American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal."
Times Union "Obituary John J. "Jack" Marcil 1923–2020" May 10, 2020
Jack Marcil for additional information
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