Malcolm Mather Cloukey was born in Greene, Iowa, on April 13, 1898, son Charles Chester Cloukey and the late Mrs. Helen Esther (Mather) Cloukey. He attended Montgomery Country High School in Independence, Kansas, and Baker University, Baldwin, Kansas, and early in World War I, on April 17, 1917, while a freshman at the latter, he enlisted in the US Navy. He had training at the Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut, as a Hydrophone Operator, and subsequently served as a Signal Quartermaster, first class, in the USS Onward, converted yacht, then based at Portsmouth, Virginia, later flagship of a sub-chaser squadron on convoy and patrol duty in the Atlantic.
In January 1919 he received an honorable discharge to return to Baker University, where he played varsity football two years while working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree which he received in 1921. He then attended the University of Kansas, Postgraduate School of Engineering, for one semester, after which he continued graduate work in Aerodynamics and Aircraft Design at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston University in 1923 and 1924. He was commissioning Ensign in the Naval Reserve in December 1924, and in January 1930 was transferred to the US Navy in the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He attended the rank of Captain on June 1, 1944, to date from July 20, 1943.
He had flight training at the Navy Reserve Aviation Base, Squantum, Massachusetts, and the Naval Air Station, Hampton Roads, Virginia, and in December 1924 was designated Naval Aviator and commissioned Ensign in the US Naval Reserve. He had active duty in 1927-1928 with Torpedo Squadron One, and from December 1928 to August 1931 was a Flight Instructor at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida.
In September 1931 he was designated Officer in Charge of the Naval Reserve Aviation Training Unit (Division VN6B) at the Naval Air Station, Anacostia, DC That division was declared the most efficient aviation division for the year 1934, and won the Noel Davis Trophy and he was personally commended by the Secretary of the Navy on the achievement. He again had active duty between 1934 and 1938 at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, as Flight Instructor and Squadron Engineer (Squadron VN2D8) and later served as Engineering Superintendent of the Assembly and Repair Department of that station.
After his transfer to the US Navy on March 4, 1941, he was designated for Aeronautical Engineering Duty, and during the period of World War II, served as Assembly and Repair Officer at the Naval Air Station, Quonset Point, Rhode Island (1941-1943); Coco Solo, Canal Zone (1943-1944); and Jacksonville, Florida (September 1944 to June 1946). At Jacksonville, his Department consisted of the Division of Personnel and Administration, Production Engineering Planning, Aircraft and Engine Overhaul, Accessories, Interim and Miner Overhaul, and Radar and Radio Maintenance.
“For outstanding performance of duty until the close of the War in that assignment, he received a Letter of Commendation, with Ribbon, from the Secretary if the Navy, which stated in part: “Performing his difficult and important duties with efficiency and sound judgment, Captain Cloukey effected a major reorganization of his department, standardizing procedures for the disassembly, overhaul, sub-assembly, and final assembly of aircraft, engines and necessary equipment. His wise leadership enabled the department to most or exceed production schedules…”
From July to September 1946 he had duty in the Navy Department, Washington, DC, assigned to the Bureau of Aeronautics, as Assistant Director, Inspection Division. He later became Head of the Production Branch, Procurement Division of that Bureau. He attended the course at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Washington, DC, September 1947- June 1948, graduating as an outstanding student. He was then ordered to the Staff of the Bureau of Aeronautics Representative, Central District, and reported to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio, the following month. There he was Director of the Staff of the Aircraft Scheduling Unit.
Reported in October 1950 to the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Maryland, he assumed duty as Senior Member, Board of Inspection and Survey, in charge of planning, conducting and reporting the BIS service acceptance trails of new models of naval aircraft. He is now under orders of April 26, 1954 to duty as Bureau of Aeronautics General Representatives, Eastern District, New York, N.Y.
In addition to the Commendation Ribbon, Captain Cloukey has the Victory Medal, Atlantic Fleet Clasp (WWI); American Defense Service Medal; American Campaign Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal. He also holds the Naval Reserve Medal for more than ten years’ service.