John (Jay) Joseph McGowan died on Saturday, June 24, 2023. He was born on September 17, 1938 in Trenton, New Jersey. His parents were Major General Donald Wilson and Helen Schoeffel McGowan. He grew up in Lawrenceville, New Jersey and graduated from the Lawrenceville High School before attending the University of Vermont where he became a Distinguished Military Graduate and appointed as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Medical Service Corps. Six days after graduation he married Patricia Ann Merlone of Hamden, Connecticut.
Jay completed fixed wing training and helicopter qualification before deploying to Vietnam in 1964 with the 57th Medical Detachment (Helicopter Ambulance). While in Vietnam, he received two awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star medal, and the Army Commendation medal, the two latter with V devices for valor.
After finishing his deployment in Vietnam, Jay was stationed with his family in Japan for two and a half years with the 587 Medical Detachment (Helicopter Ambulance) that transported Americans wounded in Vietnam to several US military hospitals located there. He and the family were then stationed in Korea for one year before he left the service for employment as a helicopter pilot with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and eventually became Chief Pilot and Manager of the Wall Street Heliport.
Jay was a Scoutmaster with Troop 32 for 13 years. He greatly enjoyed sharing his knowledge of scouting and the outdoors with the boys.
Jay is survived by his wife Pat, his four children, Stuart, Heather, Keith, and Sarah, and six grandchildren. He is buried at Arlington Cemetery.