Colonel Arthur McCreary “Mac” Reynolds Jr was born 25 August 1951 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. After receiving his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky, he reported to Officer’s Candidate School and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant on 1 November 1974.
Upon completion of flight school, First Lieutenant Reynolds reported to Marine Helicopter Training Squadron 204 at MCAS New River, North Carolina where he was designated a copilot in the CH-46 helicopter. From 1976 until June 1981, he was assigned to various squadrons from which he made numerous deployments to the Mediterranean, North Atlantic and Caribbean.
In August of 1981, Captain Reynolds attended the Amphibious Warfare School. He subsequently received orders to Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1), where he held billets in the Aviation Safety Department, Operations Department and in the White House Liaison Office.
Major Reynolds remained at HMX-1 until 1987, when he received orders for a two year assignment to Long Beach, California aboard the USS Peleliu. Upon completion of this assignment, he returned to the east coast and was assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron Two Six One (HMM-261) at New River, North Carolina. During his tour with HMM 261, he served as the Operations Officer, Executive Officer and Commanding Officer. While assigned at HMM-261 he made four deployments participating in Operations Sharp Edge (the evacuation of Liberia, 1989), Desert Storm 198901990, Deny Flight / Provide Promise 1992-1993 and 1994-1995. Upon relinquishing command in May 1995, Lieutenant Colonel Reynolds was assigned as Executive Officers of Marine Air Group Two Six.
Lieutenant Colonel Reynolds was then assigned to NATO Defense College, Rome, Italy from January 1996 to July 1996. He was subsequently assigned to Headquarters European Command, where he served as Current Operations Chief, ECJ-3 and was involved in Operations Northern Watch, Beirut Air Bridge, Able Sentry (FYROM), all Bosnia-Herzegovina Operations, Silver Wake (Albania) and Noble Obelisk (Sierra Leone). On 1 July 1997 he was promoted to the rank of Colonel.
In May of 1998, Colonel Reynolds was assigned duties with HMX-1 and assumed command on24 June 1999 and held the title of the Presidential Helicopter Pilot, serving three presidents: Reagan, George W. Bush, Clinton and one vice-president: George H.W. Bush. Upon completion of his two year command tour at HMX-1, Reynolds retired from the Marine Corps 1 Nov, 2001 and worked for Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in Washington, D.C. as Marketing Manager for the Presidential Helicopter Program and U S Government Programs. After living three years in Washington D.C., he and his wife decided to return to Bowling Green KY, where he was employed by Corporate Jets Systems and remained on contract with Sikorsky Aircraft. He later flew an Emergency Medical Helicopter for Petroleum Helicopters Inc.
His personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with gold star, Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, and the Presidential Service Badge.
Colonel Reynolds passed away on Friday, February 2, 2018 in his home in Durham, NC. He is survived by his wife Cathy and daughters Christina Reynolds and Sara Kirk.