| Howard Ashton MacDonald was born October 7, 1917 in Long Island, New York. As a child he moved to Baltimore, Maryland. He joined the Navy in 1937, and stayed in for 9 1/2 years and rejoined in 1947. He retired June 30, 1970 as a Lieutenant Commander. He was a Mustang having gone through the rates and ranks.
He served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. He received the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, with device, National Defense Service Medal (2nd Award), Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, Vietnamese Medal of Honor 1st Class and three awards for Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.