CDR Hugh Francis Mclinden, Jr., USN (Ret.)

NHA and NHAHS Founder


CDR McLinden is one of twelve founders of NHA and one of nine founders of NHAHS.

LT Mclinden, USN became a designated Navy Helicopter Pilot on November 16, 1950. LT McLinden is R-312.

McLINDEN JR., HUGH FRANCIS Distinguished Navy Flyer and Educator Passes Hugh Francis McLinden, Jr., 82, long time resident, and former high school math teacher in Chula Vista, died August 30, 2002, surrounded by family. Born in Maspeth, New York, his early memories included Lindbergh crossing the Atlantic and Babe Ruth hitting home runs. Hugh survived the depression in a working class family, pitching in, with after school jobs. He attended Sayville High School, Long Island, New York, and received a football scholarship to Randolph Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, where he also received scholastic honors. But only two years into college, he answered a bell, yet to ring, by joining the Navy, before the attack on Pearl Harbor. He soon had his wings from Navy Flight School, Pensacola, Class of ‘ 42. Flying combat in the South Pacific, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, Five-Star Air Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Two-Star Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, China Service Medal, Navy Occupation Service Medal, Victory Medal – World War II, and National Defense Service Medal. He stayed in the Navy for another twenty years, pioneering the use of helicopters in anti-submarine warfare and air rescue; he is pictured in the National Air and Space Museum, manning the Flying Platform; and, was recently named a Member Emeritus of the National Helicopter Society. He retired from the Navy, a Commander, in 1965, went back to school, finishing college, after attending George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Cal Western University in Point Loma, where he obtained a Masters and a Teaching Credential that led to the second career in high school math. During part of his military service, and afterward, he lived 45 years in Chula Vista, raising a large family. Last year, he lost his wife of 57 years, Elizabeth. They were a remarkable couple, enjoying good times and bad, including lots of laughs. Both are deeply missed by family and friends. Hugh is survived by seven children: Karen McLinden Hickman of Fairfax, Virginia, Daniel McLinden of Laguna Niguel, California, Patricia McLinden Neumann of Laguna Beach, California, Michael McLinden of Laguna Beach, California, Hugh McLinden of Chula Vista, California, Anne McLinden of Watertown, New York, and James McLinden of Watertown, New York; twelve grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Interment services will be held at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, Point Loma, Friday, October 4, 2002 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, and in honor of his memory, please donate to your favorite charity.