Ret. Colonel Elbert Sevier "Mack" Maloney, USMC
Ret. Colonel Elbert Sevier "Mack" Maloney, USMC, who served as a contributor, author, and senior editor, from 1965 to the present, of Chapman Piloting and Seamanship, the bible of small boat handling, died January 5 in Pompano Beach, Florida. He was 94.
Col Maloney was born in Richmond, Va., and grew up in Virginia and Washington, DC. He graduated with honors from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1940 with a BS in Electrical Engineering. He later received his Master of Engineering Administration from The George Washington University in 1964. He was a member of the honor societies Tau Beta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi, and Eta Kappa Nu.
Col Maloney enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserves in 1936 while in college and was commissioned in the USMC in 1940. During World War II, he served in the Pacific theater in the Second Marine Division on Guadalcanal and the First Marine Division on Okinawa. After the war in China, he was stationed in China from 1945-1947, assisting the Chinese Republic Army. He went on to hold many positions in the Marine Corps, the US Navy missile research and development programs, and ended his military career as Assistant Director of the Defense Communications Agency, which he helped establish in 1960. He remained in the Marine Corps until 1964, retiring as a colonel.
In 1953 Col Maloney acquired his first boat while stationed in Norfolk, VA. Dedicated to lifelong learning, he joined the US Power Squadron (USPS) to learn how to properly operate and maintain his new boat. At the time, the use of electronics was expanding from military and commercial shipping to private vessels. Recognizing that boaters needed training in the new areas of marine electronics and radio communication, Col Maloney developed a course for the USPS, and he continued to work with the group, culminating in his appointment as USPS Director of Education from 1971 to 1976. Col Maloney’s work with USPS brought him to the attention of Charles Chapman, author of Chapman Piloting & Seamanship. The book was, and remains today, the leading text on operating and maintaining a yacht or sailboat. Chapman, looking to expand coverage of marine electronics in his book, reviewed the USPS course and asked Col Maloney to submit a chapter on marine electronics in 1964. He also updated other chapters to keep current with the rapid changes in laws and equipment. When Mr. Chapman retired in 1967, he personally requested that Col Maloney take over the principal authorship of Chapman's, a position he held until 2009 when he became the senior editor. Col Maloney oversaw the continued updating of all aspects of boating in Chapman’s, from equipment to navigation to law.
After leaving the Marine Corps, Col Maloney served as president of the Capitol Institute of Technology in Washington, D.C. from 1965 to 1967 before taking up boating and writing full time. He authored several books in addition to Chapman's, including two editions of the U.S. Naval Institute’s Dutton’s Navigation & Piloting and articles for Motor Boating and other nautical magazines.
A lifelong Amateur Radio operator (W4PWX/W4CGG), Col Maloney was instrumental in setting up a radio communication link between US troops in China after World War II and their families back home. Col Maloney was a senior member of the Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers. He held a US Coast Guard license as Master of Near-Coastal Motor Vessels, was a Director of Education for USPS, member and Vice-Chairman of the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Safety Advisory Council, Chairman Emeritus of the National Advisory Council of Boat US, and a technical expert for maritime case law.
In 1968 Col Maloney "took in all lines," and with his first wife Mary sold their car, put household goods in long-term storage, and moved onboard their boat, Trident, a 42 foot Chris Craft. Mack and Mary, along with their First Mate and swimming companion Catherine "Feline of the Chesapeake," set sail on a ten-year odyssey. Annually, they would depart from their winter harbor at Marathon in the Florida Keys and cruise the Eastern Seabord and Intracoastal Waterways. They travelled extensively from Florida to Maine, Canada, the Gulf Coast, the Bahamas, and all points in between. Mack maintained an active career as author and a national officer in both the USPS and Coast Guard Auxiliary throughout this time. Mary kept affairs on the boat in order, and Catherine the cat supervised, though occasionally jumping ship to swim ashore. In 1978 they established a permanent home base at the Palm Yacht and Beach Club in Pompano Beach, Fl. Mack continued cruising with Mary and then his second wife Florine the East Coast and Bahamian waters. His sunset cruise was this December with his son Barney for a week cruise of the upper Florida Keys.
Mack Maloney married twice. His first wife, of 46 years, Mary Queally Maloney, died in 1988. His second wife, of 23 years, Florine Carley Maloney, died in 2013. Survivors include his son from his first marriage, Elbert S. Maloney, Jr. and daughter-in-law Nancy Blasco Maloney of Arlington, VA, stepson Keith Carley of Pompano Beach, FL, sister-in-law Kathleen Salata Smith Jeschke of Chevy Chase, MD, three grandchildren and five great grandchildren, two nephews, and a niece.
He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.