On 12 February 2019 Lieutenant Daniel Joseph “FEY” McGourty, a Hawkeye pilot, passed away after a heroic battle fighting cancer.
McGourty is a 2001 Wallowa High School graduate. He joined the Navy in 2003 after fulfilling basic education requirements at Eastern Oregon University. He enlisted in the Navy to see the world, but the Navy soon saw something in him and began to invest heavily in his career. He began his career as an Aviation Electrician and Air Crewman Rescue Swimmer and was soon serving as crew chief on a medevac helicopter in Kuwait. He received an Army Commendation Medal for his work in Kuwait, where he served November 2005 to May 2006.
By 2007 McGourty was enrolled in the Seaman-to-Admiral 21 program on his way to a commission. The Navy then sent McGourty for more training and he earned a Mechanical Engineering Degree in 2011, after which he was commissioned as ensign prior to beginning flight training. He was designated a Naval Aviator in 2013 and went on to fly E-2C Hawkeye jets with the “Golden Hawks” Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112. He was deployed in the Western Pacific in 2016 aboard the USS John. C. Stennis.
Dan McGourty, son of Ron and Celene Gay of Wallowa, Oregon, has been awarded the President George Herbert Walker Bush Award, given to first-tour, carrier-based pilots who best exemplify the skill, commitment, loyalty and courage of America’s 41st President. The elder Bush was commissioned and winged just days before his 19th birthday and was the youngest Naval Aviator on record. He later was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for combat action. McGourty received the award during the 2017 Tailhook Reunion in Reno, Nev.
A superb officer who had already made his mark on our Community and was very popular with all who knew him, there was a desire to honor his memory in some way. The VAW/VRC Wing directed that the auditorium in the new Hawkeye training building at Pt Mugu be named after LT McGourty. The auditorium was dedicated in his honor during a ceremony 19 September 2019.