James A. McCarthy

September 28, 1924December 2, 2018

James Anthony McCarthy, age 94, passed away peacefully in Orlando on December 2. Jim grew up in New Rochelle, NY and attended the New York State Maritime Academy at Fort Schuyler, NY, graduating in January 1944 at the age of 19 with an unlimited Third Mate license and a commission as Ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve. His ensuing 40-year maritime career included active duty with the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, and 32 years at sea in the Merchant Marine, sailing with Alcoa Steamship Company as Third Mate, Second Mate and Chief Mate, and later with Farrell Lines as Chief Mate. Captain McCarthy joined Local 88 of the Masters, Mates & Pilots in New York in 1944, and remained a loyal member for more than 70 years.

Jim received ribbons for service in World War II, Korea and Viet Nam, as well as notable commendations for his actions following an accident on the Mississippi River on March 16th, 1968. While he was off-watch as Second Mate onboard the S.S. African Star, the ship collided with a second vessel, resulting in serious injuries and more than 20 deaths. Because of his actions fighting the resulting fire and tending to survivors, Jim received citations from the National Safety Council; a Farrell Lines Silver Medal for Meritorious Service and Courage; Admiral of the Ocean Sea (AOTOS) Rosetta for Outstanding Seamanship; Maritime Trades Andrew Furuseth Medal for Outstanding Service and, from the Secretary of Commerce, the Merchant Marine Distinguished Service Medal "In recognition of a heroic act.”

Jim is survived by his sister Anne Randall of Sun City Center, FL, as well as his brother Richard McCarthy and sister-in-law Dorothy McCarthy of Larchmont, NY. He also leaves three nieces and a nephew, and six grandnieces and nephews. He will be dearly missed, and always remembered for his integrity, loyalty and the playful light in his eye. A favorite childhood memory of his nieces and nephew is Jim pointing out navigational stars on a warm summer evening -- now we will look up into the night sky and know Jim is twinkling back at us.

A funeral mass is scheduled for 10a.m. on Monday, December 10 at St. Nicholas of Myra Byzantine Catholic Church (5135 Sand Lake Road, Orlando), with interment following at Woodlawn Memorial Park (400 Woodlawn Cemetery Road, Gotha).


  • Funeral Service Monday, December 10, 2018
  • Interment Monday, December 10, 2018

James A. McCarthy

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