Navy is saddened to hear of the passing of Commander Ralph MacDonald on Saturday 1 June 2013.
CMDR MacDonald joined the RAN as a sailor in 1962 and received his Commission at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth UK in 1975.
CMDR MacDonald served in ten different classes of warships and instructed in two warfare training establishments. An Anti-air Warfare Specialist (AWS), he developed the initial RAN Air Control School for AWS and Air Intercept Control training. While Staff Officer to the Naval Support Commander, CMDR MacDonald managed all Navy's ceremonial and major events with highlights including the Coral Sea 50th Anniversary and the Royal visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth to Sydney.
CMDR MacDonald has three Senior Officers' Commendations and was also honoured by the Simulation Industry Association of Australia with the prestigious Simulation Achievement Award in 2010, the only such honour bestowed upon a Serviceman.
CMDR MacDonald's last position was as the Maritime Warfare Training Systems Officer at HMAS Watson where he was instrumental in establishing the RAN Maritime Warfare Synthetic Training Capabilities in 2002, expanding this in 2006 to include persistent connection to the United States Navy.
CMDR MacDonald was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 1992 for service to the RAN, particularly as the Command Support Services Officer of Naval Support Command. He retired from fulltime naval service in 2012 after an extraordinary 50 years of continuous uniformed service to the RAN.
The funeral service for CMDR MacDonald will be held at 1pm Thursday 6 June 2013 at the Memorial Chapel of Saint George the Martyr, HMAS Watson. Uniform for the funeral is W2 with Mourning Brassards.
A wake will follow at the HMAS Watson Wardroom which is open to all mourners.
In lieu of floral tributes, CMDR MacDonald's family has asked that donations are made to the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, http://www.acrf.com.au.
On behalf of those currently serving and the broader Navy family, sincere condolences are extended to CMDR MacDonald's family at this difficult time.