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Capt. William "Bill" McDonough

Jan 13, 2016 11:21 AM

Longtime Portsmouth Naval Shipyard advocate William Bill McDonough dies at 86


KITTERY, Maine – The man who became the face of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard during the fight to keep the facility open in 2005 has died.

Captain William “Bill” McDonough died Monday at the age of 86. McDonough first reported to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in 1971 and became Commander in 1974.

He retired from the Navy in 1979 and remained in Kittery, Maine with his wife.

Bill was well known for his “Save the Shipyard” efforts and played a role in getting the 2005 decision by the Defense Base Closures recommendation to close the facility.

In a statement, Senator Jeanne Shaheen D-NH said “For over 20 years, nobody fought harder to prevent the shipyard’s closure. Bill’s efforts helped save thousands of jobs and prevented the shipyard’s closure.”

He is described by Senator Kelly Ayotte R-NH as “an effective leader and passionate defender of Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, and he deserves a lot of credit for Portsmouth’s reputation as our nation’s best public shipyard.”

Calling hours are Friday from 5-7PM at the JS Pelkey Funeral Home in Kittery, Maine. Funeral services as scheduled for Saturday January, 16th at St. Raphael’s Church in Kittery. The family is asking for donations to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society in lieu of flowers.


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