James Russell McElroy, Jr.

June 7, 1937November 29, 2013

James Russell McElroy, Jr. “Judge”, was born June 7, 1937 in Birmingham, Alabama and passed away on Friday, November 29 at his home. He attended Edgewood Grammar School and Shades Valley High School. He graduated from Sewanee Military Academy and Sewanee: The University of the South. Later, he attended the Marine Basic School, Quantico, VA, Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA, and graduated from the College of Naval Warfare, Newport, RI.

Colonel McElroy joined the Navy reserves at age seventeen, transferred to the Marine Corps Reserves and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1960.

An infantry officer, his first duties were as a rifle platoon leader in the 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, CA and then the 3rd Marine Division in the Western Pacific.

As a Captain he was in Vietnam (1966-67) as a rifle company commander and executive officer of a combined action group. While a Major he was senior advisor to a South Vietnamese Marine Corps infantry battalion (1970-71).

As a Lieutenant Colonel, he was executive officer of a Marine regiment and then commanding officer of an infantry battalion and battalion landing team (Mediterranean, Indian Ocean). Later he served as logistics officer for the 2nd Marine Division and was promoted to Colonel in 1981.

During 1982-83 Colonel McElroy served with the 3rd Marine Division (Western Pacific) as operation officer and commanding officer of a Marine regiment.

Colonel McElroy’s decorations include 2 awards, Silver Star Medal; 2 awards, Legion of Merit; 2 awards, Bronze Star Medal each with Combat V; 2 awards of the Purple Heart; Meritorious Service Medal; Joint Service Commendation Medal; Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V; Navy Commendation Medal; Navy Achievement Medal.

Upon retirement in 1984, he and his family returned to the Birmingham area where his mother and father and his wife’s widower father lived with them until their deaths.

Colonel McElroy is survived by his wife of over forty-nine years Brownley Hunter Marshall McElroy; son James Russell McElroy, III; daughter Katharine McElroy Manasco (Hunter); grandchildren Philip Marshall McElroy II; James “Jay” Russell McElroy, IV; Susan Elizabeth McElroy; Brownley Hunter Manasco; and James Hunter Manasco II. He was preceded in death by son Philip Marshall McElroy, sister Marian McElroy Gillespie, and parents Judge and Mrs. James Russell McElroy.

He was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church for sixty-five years. He formerly taught and was president of the Brotherhood Class.

A graveside service, including full military honors for Colonel McElroy, will be held Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 11:00 AM at Southern Heritage Cemetery in Pelham, Alabama. Following the graveside service the family will receive friends at Ridout’s Valley Chapel in Homewood, Alabama from 12:30 to 2:30 PM where refreshments will be served.

In lieu of flowers, it is requested that memorial gifts be made to Semper Fi Fund for injured Marines: Semper Fi Fund, 825 College Blvd, Suite 102, PMB 609, Oceanside, CA 92057;

Condolences to the McElroy family can be left at


  • Graveside Service Tuesday, December 3, 2013
  • The Family Will Receive Friends, Where Refreshments Will Be Served Tuesday, December 3, 2013

James Russell McElroy, Jr.

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December 4, 2013

My favorite person and patient. I will miss you. Bob Kreisberg MD

Brad and Debbe Reynolds, M Co. 3/5, 67-68

December 3, 2013

Our flag is half-mast for Skipper Mac...a great friend who dearly loved "his Marines"...our hearts and prayers are with his family. Semper Fi.

Denis Flood

December 3, 2013

RIP to this brave Marine officer, our commander of Mike Company. I remember when you were shot in jumped right back up and continued the fight. God bless.

Byron Hill

December 3, 2013

Judge McElroy was my company commander in Viet Nam...he was demanding, but always fair and was concerned for the welfare of his Marines. Through his leadership he taught me how to command a Marine unit, and I always strived to meet his expectations throughout my career. The leader I knew as "Captain Mac" was and remains my hero!

December 2, 2013


I am so sorry to read of your loss. Please know that my prayers are with your family.

Ann Roman

William Warren

December 2, 2013

Judge and I served together in Viet Nam and at Headquarters Marine Corps. He was a fine person and a superb Marine. Always a gentleman, Judge set the example for others to follow. I will miss his humor and sage advice. May God bless and comfort his family.
William R. Warren Colonel, USMC (Ret) Lady's Island, SC

Col Hank Reed

December 1, 2013

From Col Hank Reed to the family "Rest In Peace" ..As a black marine corps officer
..the judge would never let me go astray..from Basic School/ Vietnam/and Texas A & M. we always and will continue to share a cigar butt...Brownly,, ya'll take care

Pam Bankston

December 1, 2013

Dear McElroy Family - I am so very sad to hear of your loss. Our prayers and sympathy go out to your entire family.

Judge was such a great guy. I have wonderful memories of him.
From the time he patiently sat with me, staring at a beach towel crammed under a door, waiting for my bug guy to arrive and remove an uninvited snake from our downstairs bedroom. To his delight in discovering a chubby, jumpsuit clad "Elvis", warming-up with karate chops and kick jumps in the darkness of our yard, Pre-Christmas Party appearance late 90's. Judge absolutely loved it! And we absolutely loved Judge.

We are grateful for his long and honorable service to our country, for the family he and Brownie created, for his example of upbeat determination and for his wonderful friendship. He will be missed. He will be remembered. With love and sympathy, Pam Bankston

Dan & Sharon Praytor

December 1, 2013

Semper Fi in peace Judge.

December 1, 2013

Colonel McElroy was a superb Marine Officer, who above all was always mindful of his troops and looked out for their best interests, Genuine and fair in his approach to life, he was a realist in his actions. With every respect and best wish, may the Good Lord look after him and his family.

C.S. Del Grosso (San Clemente, CA)