Corpsman Gregory M. McPartlin, USN

Greg McPartlin was the Navy SEAL who wanted to heal, not to kill.

He was born in Lake Forest, Illinois on June 30, 1949 to John J.and Cora Marie McPartlin and had three siblings, Fred, Jeff, and Jarlath. He had always planned to be a doctor as a child. His first job was driving an ambulance at the age of 16, alongside older brother Fred. The next year he was racing stockcars and working for Village Ambulance Services.

Two years later McPartlin enlisted in the Navy and became a corpsman.He deployed to Vietnam in 1968. .As a Special Operations Technician, Greg trained at the Navy’s Underwater Swim School in Key West, Florida.He was assigned to SEAL Team One, ALFA Platoon, in Coronado, which did three deployments to Vietnam. Navy SEALs and their need for corpsmen created an opportunity for him.

He served his country as a Navy corpsman, first with the Marines, then as a SEAL. He did three tours of Vietnam. He was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal (w/combat “V”); Bronze Star Medal (w/combat “V”); National Defense Service Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; Vietnam Campaign Medal; Basic Parachutists Insignia; Combat Action Ribbon; Good Conduct Medal;

In 2005, McPartlin released his book, “Combat Corpsman,” a Vietnam memoir of his time as a Navy SEAL corpsman. In it he described numerous operations in Vietnam and elsewhere. He also discussed his role in the sea recovery of Apollo 11 – the first spaceship to carry men to the moon.

After his time in the Navy, McPartlin made his fame and fortune as a realtor in Coronado during the 1970s with M&M Realty. He sold the Van Ness Mansion to L. Larry Lawrence (owner of the Hotel del Coronado) and built most of the homes in Coronado during that decade. He served as the president of the Coronado Chamber of Commerce.

His generosity was well-known. He gave and gave, but never asked for credit or anything in return. He donated to such causes –Sacred Heart Church, Christ Church of Coronado, SEAL Team reunions, and the July Fourth Parade to name a few. McPartlin won the prestigious Lou Hardy given by the Coronado Chamber of Commerce.

But it was his follow-on career that has endeared him to millions of people – both locals and tourists; civilian and military.Opening McP’s Irish Pub in 1982 not only created a home for the Navy SEALs, but a favorite watering hole and eatery in Coronado that grew, like its founder/owner, to legendary proportions.

In civilian life, McPartlin was a regular member at Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Our Lady of the Rosary in Little Italy. During a procedure done at The Spinal Cord Injury Clinic in La Jolla leaving him paralyzed, he never lost his spirit and his will to fight. He treated members of the VA to lunch monthly.

In memory of McPartlin, City Council issued a Proclamation for a day in his honor. His legacy will to continue to live on through his family and the restaurant. 

McPartlin is survived by his wife Holly Bowers McPartlin, of 35 years, and his children Drew, Cerissa, Jessica, Gregory and Maggie. He also has four grandchildren Elle, Maximus, Langley, and Siena.

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