WASHINGTON -- Retired Adm. John S. McCain Jr., commander-in-chief of Pacific forces at the height of the Vietnam War, died of a heart attack Sunday. He was 70.
At the time of his death, the retired four-star admiral was aboard an aircraft returning from Europe to his home in Washington.
McClain will be buried Friday at Arlington National Cemetery, next to the grave of his father, John McCain Sr., a four-star admiral who commanded the Fast Carrier Task Force under Adm. William 'Bull' Halsey during World War II.
From 1968 to 1972, the younger McCain commanded over 1 million soldiers, sailors and airmen as CINCPAC commander of all American military forces in the Pacific, including troops in Vietnam.
He was commander of naval forces in Europe from 1967 to 1968 and military representative to the United Nations in New York two years before that.
McCain, who retired from the Navy in 1972, began his career as a submarine officer after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1931. Two years later, he completed submarine school in New London, Conn.
During World War II, McCain commanded three different submarines. He once settled his sub on the ocean floor for 72 hours while a Japanese destroyer repeatedly dropped depth charges. The destroyer finally moved on.
In the Korean War, McCain was second-in-command of the heavy cruiser St. Paul. After the war, he became chief of congressional liaison for the Navy.
In 1959, he was promoted to admiral and became chief of information for the Navy. He was later appointed commander of the Atlantic Amphibious Training Command. As vice admiral commanding the Atlantic amphibious forces, he directed U.S. landing forces in the Dominican Republic in 1967.
President Lyndon Johnson awarded him the distinguished service medal for the Dominican operation.
McCain is survived by his wife, Roberta McCain of Washington; sons, Navy Capt. John S. McCain III of Washington and Joe McCain of Bethesda, Md.; and a daughter, Mrs. Henry Morgan of Houston.