Remembering the Life and Memory of...
Colonel John M. McHugh
Hometown: West Caldwell, New Jersey, U.S.
Age: 46 years old
Died: May 18, 2010 in Operation Enduring Freedom.
Unit: U.S. Army Battle Command Training Program, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Birth: Dec. 3, 1963
New Jersey, USA
Death: May 18, 2010, Afghanistan
Col. John M. McHugh, 46, of Newark, N.J.; assigned to the U.S. Army Battle Command Training Program, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.; died May 18 in Kabul, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered in a suicide car bombing. Also killed were Lt. Col. Paul R. Bartz, Lt. Col. Thomas P. Belkofer, Staff Sgt. Richard J. Tieman and Spc. Joshua A. Tomlinson. Col. McHugh went home to God on May 18, 2010, while serving with the United States Army in Afghanistan. Funeral services were held in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., on Thursday, May 27, at 11 a.m. A Memorial Mass celebrating his life was held on Saturday, June 5, at 11 a.m. at St. Aloysius Church in Caldwell, N.J. Born in West Caldwell, N.J., John attended St. Aloysius Grammar School, graduated from James Caldwell High School in 1982, and was a member of the graduating class of 1986, United States Military Academy at West Point. John was the loving husband of Connie (Jensen), and the devoted father of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Michael McHugh, U.S. Army, and his wife, Angela, Kelly Rose, Kristen, Maggie, and David, and grandfather of Abigail Lynn. He also leaves behind his parents, James and Mary Ann McHugh of West Caldwell; his sister, Mary Kate Edwards; brothers, James B. McHugh and Frank McHugh; in-laws, Jeff Edwards and Donna McHugh, and loving niece and nephews, Jim, Tom, Tim, Katie and Brian. John began his military career by attending the United States Army Aviation School at Fort Rucker, Ala., where he graduated as a UH60 Blackhawk Helicopter pilot. He served in the first Gulf War in 1990, and distinguishably served for 24 years at numerous bases throughout the United States and overseas, most recently being deployed for 15 months to Udairi Army Airfield in Kuwait. He was the recipient of numerous awards and decorations from the United States Army, including the Legion of Merit Award, the Purple Heart, and a second Bronze Star. A natural born leader, John was the head of his athletic teams, both at Caldwell High School, where he excelled at soccer and baseball, and at West Point, where he was goalkeeper for the Army Soccer Team. He continued his love of sports throughout his life, volunteering to coach soccer for his children. A true American hero, John will always be remembered as a man devoted to God, to his country, and to his friends and family. "Whether therefore ye eat or drink or whatsoever ye do, do all to the Glory of God." 1 Cor 10:31. Published in Star-Ledger on May 24, 2010
Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery
Plot: Sec K Site 147
The "Johnny Mac" story - http://www.johnnymac.org/jmstory.php
Col. John M. McHugh, 46, of New Jersey, was assigned to the U.S. Army Battle Command Training Program, Fort Leavenworth. He died May 18 in Kabul, Afghanistan, when a suicide bomber steered his explosives-laden Toyota minibus into an American convoy as it moved through the thick of rush-hour traffic. Along with COL McHugh attack killed 17 other people, including 4 other American soldiers (Lt. Col. Paul R. Bartz, 43, of Waterloo, Wis., Lt. Col. Thomas P. Belkofer, 44, of Perrysburg, Ohio, Staff Sgt. Richard J. Tieman, 28, of Waynesboro, Pa., Spc. Joshua A. Tomlinson, 24, of Dubberly, La.) Col. Geoff Parker, RCR, and wounded at approximately 47 civilians. He had arrived in Afghanistan from Fort Leavenworth, Kan., just days before he was killed.
Col McHugh was one of the highest-ranking officers to die in Afghanistan since the war began.
Following his graduation in 1986 he went on to Rotary Wing (Flight School) and UH -60 Aviator courses, McHugh was stationed in Nurnberg, Germany, with the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR). He served as a platoon leader with S Troop, 4th Squadron, 2nd ACR and deployed to Operation Desert Storm as the regimental aviation officer. Upon graduating from the Aviation Advanced Course, McHugh was assigned to the 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo., as a flight operations officer for 4-4 General Support Aviation Battalion (GSAB) and commander, A Company, 4-4 GSAB. From 1998 until 1999, he was the executive officer for 1-13th Aviation Regiment, Fort Rucker, Ala. From 2001 until 2002, he was the executive officer for 3-58th Aviation Regiment, Giebelstadt, Germany. He served in multiple training assignments. From 1994 – 1996, he was assigned as a UH-60 assault company trainer at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif. From 1999-2001, he was a maneuver observer trainer with Operations Group C, Battle Command Training Program, Fort Leavenworth, and from 2002-2004 he served as the operations officer/aviation operations trainer for the Falcon Observer/Controller Team, Hohenfels, Germany. From 2004-2006, McHugh commanded 1st Battalion, 11th Aviation Regiment at Fort Rucker, Ala., and was responsible for providing air traffic control for the U.S. Army Flight School. McHugh has a master’s degree in administration from West Virginia Public University. Following command, McHugh served as executive officer for the Army Air Traffic Services Command and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as the deputy commander of the 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group. McHugh assumed duties as the chief, Operations Group Alpha, in June 2009 upon graduation from the U.S. Army War College where he received a masters in strategic studies.
He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Connie McHugh, his five children (two sons - the youngest just 5 years old - and three daughters) and a granddaughter. His oldest child, Michael, was serving in Iraq when his father was killed. He met his father's body in Kuwait and escorted his body home.