ESCONDIDO, CA — Cmdr. James E. Perry, USN, Ret., passed away on March 11, 2021, in Escondido, California. He was born December 5, 1942, in McBride, Missouri, and is predeceased by his parents, Murrel and Leola Perry, and his brother, Wayne. Jim lettered in football, basketball, and track and field at Herculaneum High School, graduated in 1960, and joined the United States Navy as an Electronics Technician.
He married his first wife, Frances Vickers (Vicki), the mother of his children, in 1963. During his 28-year naval career, Jim was a commissioned Ensign in 1970, earning a four-year Navy scholarship and receiving a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Mexico. After spending two years stationed with his family at NS Yokosuka, Japan, he earned a Master of Science in Computer Systems/Management in 1976 from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.
Jim also served on the aircraft carrier USS Midway and flew over 150 combat missions while in the Gulf of Tonkin. As Mission Commander in the E-2 Hawkeye aircraft, he was responsible for the command and control of naval strike groups in concert with the first major B-52 strikes in Hanoi, Vietnam in 1972.
Jim retired from the Navy and married Kathryn Smithhisler on Coronado Island, California in 1989. He earned his second master’s degree in Logistics Engineering and began a successful defense contracting career specializing in communications programs and aircraft systems. One project of which he was most proud was working with the Hunter Unmanned Air Vehicle program while with Northrup Grumman in Sierra Vista, Arizona.
He retired in 2012 and moved to Fort Mill, South Carolina where he enjoyed his Harley, RV trips, his three beloved dogs and cat, and time with his grandchildren. A dedicated veteran, he joined the American Legion Riders and the Patriot Guard Riders honoring fallen warriors and veterans with funeral escorts.
Jim was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Disabled American Veterans, the Military Officers Association of America, and the Tailhook Association, supporting the Navy’s carrier aircraft operations.
He credits Knights of Columbus of Sierra Vista, Arizona with a refreshed Catholic faith later in his life. Jim loved a great pinot noir, fresh strawberries, and Starbucks coffee.
He is survived by his wife, Kathy, of Sierra Vista, Arizona, his daughter Michele (Missy) Hardison and her husband Scott, of Escondido, California, his granddaughter Melana and her husband, Kris, and great-grandson Kade, of Murietta, California, his granddaughter Lyndsay, her husband Neal, and great-grandson Connor, of Temecula, California, his son Mike Perry, his wife Joy, and grandson Zachary, and granddaughter Kayla, of El Cajon, California, his daughter Dacia Perry-Pelletier and her husband, Adam, and granddaughters Chloe, Fallon, and Phoebe, of Rancho Peñasquitos, California, his stepdaughter Kristin Cronn and her husband, Brian, of Beavercreek, Oregon, and his stepdaughter Heidi Lumpkin, her husband Bob, and son Bobby, of Augusta, Georgia, and his siblings, Tom Perry, LouAnn Wacker, and Kathy Melichar.
Jim will be laid to rest on April 19, 2021, at MCAS Miramar in San Diego, California. Remembrances may be sent to SpecialOlympicsArizona.org.
CW4 James “Jim” Edward Church, U.S. Navy, Retired, age 78, a resident of Lacombe, La., went home to be with the Lord on Friday, March 5, 2021. Jim was married to Paulette Grinage Church for 57 years wonderful years. They were married in Slidell, LA in 1963 at Calvary Baptist Church. Jim was born in Childersburg, Alabama but spent much of his early life in Louisville, Kentucky where he was a graduate of Dupont Manual High School. After graduation, he moved to Slidell where he worked for Crescent Steel until enlisting in the Navy. During his naval career of 25 years, Jim went from entering as an Airmen to achieve the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 4. Jim was in the field of Avionics and was assigned to work in and on the VAW squadron’s E2 aircraft. He served with numerous VAW Squadron’s as their Maintenance Officer. His contributions and work ethic earning him respect from those who worked for and with him. Jim retired from the Navy in 1986 and began working in the defense contractor community in Southern Maryland. He continued to use the experience and knowledge gained from his years in the Navy. He is preceded in death by his father Michael N. Church, Sr. and mother Ada Frost Church, brother Michael N. Church, Jr. and sister Rosemary Delahousaye.
He is survived by his wife Paulette J. Church of Lacombe, Louisiana and Sons James C. (Laurie) Church of Loranger, Louisiana, Timothy A. (Valerie) Church of Fort Worth, Texas, and 4 Grandchildren, Megan, Taylor, Courtney, Caleb, 3 Great Grandchildren, Aiden, James, Hannah, and nieces and nephews. Jim was a loving husband, as well as a great dad who always told his sons they were loved followed by a hug. Jim leaves behind many friends who will remember his generous spirit, warm smile and great sense of humor. The family would like to extend a special thanks to St. Tammany Hospice for the compassionate, tender and respectful care they gave our Jim.
Capt. John “Jack” Larison, Jr USN (Ret.), was called to Heaven on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, while in his home in Coronado surrounded by his wife Joan of 63 years, and their two daughters Jill and Jadon.
Jack was born on May 7,1933 in Oakhurst, New Jersey. His family moved to Miami, Florida when Jack was a teen. In High School, Jack was a member of the theater club where he most likely developed his passion for humor and ability to command a room. Jack was awarded a scholarship to the University of Miami and spent the next four years developing life long friendships.
Jack “jiggdogg” was commissioned an Ensign and designated a Naval Aviator after completing the NAVCAD program, receiving his Wings of Gold in March 1956. While stationed in Long Beach, California, Jack met the love of his life, Joan Cadwell. After a short courtship, Jack invited Jo to visit him in Oahu, Hawaii, during one of his many deployments. Deciding that there was no better place on earth to wed, Jack and Jo eloped on March 12, 1957. From 1958 to 1967 Jack completed General Line School and served in many Officer positions.
After completing E2A transition training at NAS North Island, Jack helped bring the HAWKEYE east to VAW-12 at NAS Norfolk. He became a plank owner (an original squadron member) of VAW-123 when the squadron was commissioned in April 1967 as a member of Detachment 59. Jack went on to lead four commands: VAW-123 Screwtops from ‘70-‘72 (an E-2 Hawkeye operational squadron), RVAW-120 Greyhawks from ‘74-‘75 (a fleet Pilot and Naval Flight Officer training squadron composed of E-2 & C-2 aircraft), Commodore Carrier AEW Wing from ‘80-‘82 (Commander Carrier Airborne Early Warning Wing Twelve consisting of multiple east coast E-2 squadrons & the east coast C-2 squadron) and finally CO Naval Air Station, Norfolk. Jack’s leadership and mentorship shaped a generation of Naval Officers, where the E-2/C-2 communities were particularly fortunate to have been led by such a wonderful man.
Returning to Coronado after retirement, Jack continued to bring out the best of society by reading to preschoolers, delivering Meals on Wheels, remaining an active lifetime member and Past President of the Coronado Optimist Club and a member of St Paul’s United Methodist Church.
Jack is survived by his wife Joan, and daughters, Jill Larison of Clear Lake Shores, Texas, and Jadon (Mitch) Calayo of Virginia Beach, Virginia. Jack “Poppy” had a great love for all of his grandchildren: James, Justin, Matthew and Michael and great grandchildren: Caleb and Arianna. He was predeceased by his son Jeffery Dean Larison, his father John Larison and step-mother Margarite Larison, his mother, Ruth Wooley and step-father Parker Wooley, his biological mother Leta Anderson and sister Geraldine Anderson.
Jack will be missed by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him, as he possessed an innate ability to elevate any community or organization he dedicated his time towards. From his Naval brothers and sisters: Fair Winds and Following Seas. From his family and friends: we love and miss you, and will always carry you in our hearts.
January 15, 1927 - January 13, 2021 On Wednesday, January 13, 2021, Cdr. James Albert Moore, passed away in Reno, NV, at the age of 93. Jim was born on January 15, 1927, in Oakland, CA, to Albert Monroe and Mary Louise (Corica) Moore. He graduated from Point Loma H. S. in San Diego in 1944 and entered the Navy as an Apprentice Seaman that same year. In 1947, while stationed in San Diego, he met his future wife, Margaret Ann Drinkwater, of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Jim's unique breadth of US Navy service is worthy of a movie! His first tour of duty was aboard USS LST-1150, serving as a radar operator in the Pacific. Following World War II, he served in USS FRANK KNOX (DD742) where he sailed the Yangtze River on China Patrol. After two years was transferred to USS MANSFIELD (DD728) where his ship was subsequently struck by enemy mines during the Korean Conflict. Advancing in rate to Radarman First Class he applied for and changed his rating to Air Controlman in 1950, was assigned to GC A Unit 25, and advanced to Chief Petty Officer in 1953. Promoted to Warrant Officer, he was next assigned as Flight Deck Boatswain aboard USS LAKE CHAMPLAIN (CVA-39). Jim was promoted to the rank of Ensign in 1956 and assigned to Airborne Early Warning Squadron THREE. He was designated a Naval Flight Officer in November 1957. In January 1960 he received orders to Naval Air Station, Fallon Nevada as the Aviation Fuels Officer. Receiving orders to Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron TWELVE in January 1963, he deployed aboard USS FORRESTAL (CVA-59) and again aboard USS ENTERPRISE (CVN-65), where he participated in OPERATION SEA ORBIT in which Nuclear Task Force ONE comprised of USS ENTERPRISE, USS BAINBRIDGE and USS LONG BEACH sailed around the world to demonstrate U.S. Naval Nuclear capabilities. Commander MOORE received orders in March 1966 as Officer-in-Charge of Ground Control Approach Unit FIFTY-FIVE. In August 1968 he was assigned as CIC Officer and later Flag Secretary and Aide to Commander Carrier Division FOUR, where he deployed in USS INDEPENDENCE (CVA-62), USSA SARATOGA (CVA-60), and USS FORRESTAL (CVA-59). September of 1970 found Commander MOORE back at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada for a second tour, this time as Operations Officer and Executive Officer until receiving orders in August 1972 to Training Squadron Eighty-Six and Carrier Airborne Early Warning Training Squadron ONE HUNDRED TEN for E-2B "Hawkeye" training. On 14 April 1973 he reported as Executive Officer, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTEEN, embarked in USS CONSTELLATION (CVA-64). He took command of the "World Famous SUN KINGS" on 18 April 1974, and deployed to the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf as part of Attack Carrier Air Wing NINE embarked in USS CONSTELLATION (CVA-64) from June until December 1974. He completed his Commanding Officer tour of VAW-116 in May of 1975. In 1976 Commander MOORE returned to Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada for his twilight Navy tour as base Executive Officer. Throughout the course of Jim's 34-year naval career, he advanced through every rate and rank, from Apprentice Seaman to Commander, including Warrant grades W1-W4. He was designated a Naval Flight Officer in 1957. Included in his many awards are service medals from WWII, Korea, and Vietnam
After retiring from the Navy, Jim went on to become the General Manager of the Nugget and Bonanza Casinos in Fallon. From there, he went into the real estate business before finally retiring for good in the early 1990s.
On November 5, 2020, Captain Kenneth C. Petroske of Norfolk, Virginia took his final flight into the "Wild Blue Yonder". He was a highly decorated Naval officer and a great American Patriot. A native of Meriden, Ct., he was born in 1936 to Constantine and Mary Petroske.
He was a dedicated husband of 58 years to the former Sarah Jane Ward of North Haven CT. and a devoted father to Wm. Jason Petroske of San Diego, CA. He also leaves behind his sister, Barbara Jean Petroske of NYC; his daughter-in-law Bianca Petroske and granddaughters, Julianna and Alessandra Petroske of San Diego.
Captain Petroske graduated from Parks College of Aeronautical Engineering of St. Louis University. He was commissioned in 1958 and received his wings in 1960. Assigned to Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron TWELVE at NAS Quonset Pt., Rhode Island, he flew the E-1B Tracer deploying aboard the USS FORRESTAL, USS ESSEX, and USS CONSTELLATION to the Mediterranean, North Atlantic and Caribbean. In 1964 CDR Petroske returned to the Training Command as a flight instructor at NAS Pensacola, Florida. Following this tour, he attended Carrier Air Traffic Control Center School in Glynco, Georgia and then reported to USS INDEPENDENCE as Assistant Air Operations Officer in 1967. CDR Petroske reported to RVAW-120 and then to VAW-124 where he was Maintenance and Operations Officer. He deployed to WESTPAC and the Mediterranean aboard the USS America. Upon detachment from VAW-124 he attended Aviation Safety School in Monterey, CA and in 1972 reported to the staff of Commander Airborne Early Warning Wing TWELVE as staff Safety Officer and the Operations/Training Readiness Officer. He next served as the Commanding Officer of VAW-122 deploying to WESTPAC and Vietnam, flying the E-2C Hawkeye.
Ken began his flying career at age 15 on a canvas covered Piper; and in 1978 he left flying for his final military tour as Captain of the NATO SACCLANT North Atlantic VAW Fleet until retirement in 1984. He loved the many challenges of his Navy career and flying. He had remarkable courage, energy, generosity, and kindness.
Captain Petroske's decorations include two strike/flight Air Medals, the Navy Commendation Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal, the Meritorious Unit Commendation Award, the Navy Expeditionary Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Vietnam Service and Campaign Medals, and a Citation for Extraordinary aeriel performance in Cuba.
In retirement, Ken, an avid sailor and member of the Broad Bay Sailing Association, raced his 36 ft. Sloop, Sans Souci, to many victories in the Chesapeake Bay and off-shore. He frequently crewed for boat Captain Jon Scott delivering sailboats. Together they sailed a 68 ft. Schooner from Portugal to Florida in an exciting and perilous adventure. Ken could often be found sitting on his front porch spinning yarns of his Military days and sailing.
Capt. Jason Chuderewicz is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in history. He earned his wings of gold in May 1999. After completing his initial E-2 Hawkeye training, he reported to the "Seahawks" of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 126, where he served as assistant aircraft division officer, aircraft division officer, and assistant operations officer. During this tour, he deployed onboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) in support of Operation Southern Watch.
After his initial tour, Chuderewicz joined the "Greyhawks" of VAW-120, as an E-2C Hawkeye weapons and tactics instructor. He was a subject matter expert in numerous systems, as well as the tactics phase head during his tour. His last billet was as the E-2C Hawkeye Group II Naval Flight Officer (NFO) training officer responsible for all Group II Student NFOs and their training syllabus.
Chuderewicz reported to the "Bear Aces" of VAW-124 in April 2005. The squadron deployed aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and he served as the training officer and administration officer.
In July 2006, Chuderewicz attended the United States Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, where he earned his master's degree in national security and strategic studies. He also completed his Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) Phase One and was designated a joint qualified planning officer after completing the Naval Operational Planner Course.
Chuderewicz reported to the "Black Eagles" of VAW-113 for his department head tour and served as the safety officer, training officer, and operations officer from January 2008 until November 2010. The squadron deployed twice onboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and won the coveted Battle 'E' Award three times.
In December 2010, Chuderewicz reported to NORAD-United States Northern Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He served in the J552 Special Plans branch as an action officer working on contingency and operational plans with both American and Canadian forces. He also served as the J551 Homeland Defense Plans Branch Chief responsible for national and bi-national plans for the defense of North America and its territories. He also attended the Joint and Combined Warfighting School at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk completing his JPME Phase II qualification.
In April 2014, Chuderewicz reported to the "Screwtops" of VAW-123. He served as executive officer until August 2015 and then became the 41st commanding officer of the squadron. He led them through a challenging work up schedule and deployment participating in Operation Odyssey Dawn and Operation Inherent Resolve with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 onboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CV 69), winning the coveted Battle 'E' Award.
In January 2017, Chuderewicz reported to Commander Carrier Strike Group Four (CSG) 4 as the N71 air defense lead responsible for air warfare evaluations and qualifications for carrier strike groups, amphibious ready groups and independent deployers preparing for deployment.
Chuderewicz has over 600 traps and over 3,100 flight hours in E-2C Hawkeye Group 0, Group II, and Hawkeye 2000 aircraft. His personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (with five Strike/Flight awards), the Navy Commendation Medal (with three gold stars), the Navy Achievement Medal, as well as other individual, unit and campaign awards.
Ron was born the son of the late Chester and Dorothy Frazee of Billings, Montana, on November 19, 1946. He is survived by his long-time companion, Judy Wagner, and many close friends. He was a graduate of Montana State University - Billings and the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana. Ron also received an LLM in Taxation from Boston University School of Law. He was a member of the State Bar of Montana, the State Bar of Texas, and the Dallas Bar Association. While in college, Ron was a member of the Civil Air Patrol. Prior to attending law school, he served in the U.S. Navy as a Naval Aviator in the Vietnam War, completing numerous missions aboard the USS Enterprise. He continued to serve his country in the Naval Reserve, ultimately retiring in 2000 with the rank of Captain.
Ron was awarded the Air Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal. Earlier this year, Ron attended a ceremony in Pensacola, Florida, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of earning his wings.
He was very active in the Reserve Officers Association (ROA) for many years, serving as the ROA President of the Dallas Chapter and the Department of Texas. For almost 2 decades, he was the legal advisor (JAG) for the Department and wrote many Constitution and Bylaws Amendments for the ROA National Organization headquartered in Washington DC.
Ron started his legal career in 1978 with the Crowley Law Firm in Billings, Montana. In 1982 he moved to Dallas and joined Hunt Oil Company. He later worked for Arco International Oil and Gas Company and Mayfair Petroleum, Inc., before starting a private practice in 1998.
Ron was known for his dedication and professionalism and widely regarded as an expert in the areas of corporate taxation and international oil and gas law. His legal career took him all around the world.
He enjoyed helping individual clients with their personal legal matters as well as working as part of a team in substantial, complex corporate negotiations, including his work with the deepwater exploration company JHI Associates, Inc., where he was in-house counsel since 2015.
His constant vigilance, guidance, and mentoring during his later years leave a legacy much appreciated and relied upon by his colleagues and friends. He loved animals and enjoyed working with rescue dogs. His sense of humor was legendary—you could see his jokes coming a mile away, but the journey was always worth it.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Montana State University – Billings, the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana, the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation in Pensacola, Florida, or the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.
Morgan Hayes Betts, 89, of Avon, passed away Sunday, November 5, 2017. Born in Norwalk, son of the late A. Raymond and Gladys (Sanger) Betts, he was raised in Simsbury and moved to Avon 50 years ago. Morgan enlisted in the US Navy and proudly served his country as a VAW pilot in 1953-1955 Lake Champlain 1954-5 Midway 1955 He retired from the US Navy reserves as a Lieutenant Commander after twenty years of service. Morgan was employed in aerospace sales and enjoyed watching birds and deer in his yard. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Alice (Buck) Betts, and his daughter Suzanne H. Betts of Norwalk. He was predeceased by two brothers, Ray and Elliott. Funeral services will be held Friday, November 10, 2017, at 11 am., at the Carmon Funeral Home & Family Center, 301 Country Club Road, Avon. Burial will follow in Simsbury Cemetery.
It is with deep regret I inform you of the passing of Rear Admiral Richard Corbett “Dick” Gentz, U.S. Navy (Retired) on 27 July 2020 at age 85. Dick Gentz entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1953 and served as a Naval Aviator until his retirement in 1991 as the Commander Naval Air Systems Command. Additional commands included VAW-125 and the Pacific Missile Test Center. RADM Gentz has 4,600 flight hours primarily in S-2 Tracker and E-2C Hawkeye aircraft.
Dick Gentz entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1953, where “Shotrod” was known for swimming and being “always ready with a helping hand whenever a friend seemed to be down and out.” He graduated in June 1957 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Naval Science and was commissioned an ensign. ENS Gentz then reported to NAS Pensacola to the Naval Aviation Basic Training Course. In April 1958 he reported to VS Advanced Training Unit (ATU)-402 at NAAS Kingsville, TX where he was designated a Naval Aviator (HTA) on 16 September 1958. ENS Gentz then reported to his first operational assignment at Air Anti-Submarine Squadron TWO SEVEN (VS-27) where he was promoted to lieutenant (junior grade) in December 1958, serving Line Division and Personnel Officer. Flying the S2F-1 Tracker, VS-27 embarked on anti-submarine carrier VALLEY FORGE (CVS-45) for operations in the Atlantic with Task Group Alpha, conducting ASW tactics development and exercises, served as the recovery ship for the first unmanned Mercury-Redstone program launch, followed by a deployment to the Mediterranean. He was promoted to Lieutenant in June 1961.
In June 1962, LT Gentz attended Naval Post-Graduate School in Monterey CA where he earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science, both in Aeronautical Engineering. In May 1965 he reported to Fleet Airborne Electronics Training Unit Atlantic, followed by additional training at Air Anti-Submarine Squadron THREE ZERO (VS-30.) In October 1965, LT Gentz reported to VS-32 at Quonset Point, RI as Safety and NATOPS Officer, flying the S-2E Tracker embarked on anti-submarine carrier ESSEX (CVS-9) for a Northern Europe and Mediterranean deployment between May and September 1967.
Promoted to lieutenant commander in April 1966, he reported in February 1968 to the pre-commissioning unit of carrier JOHN F. KENNEDY (CVA-67) as Training and Scheduling Officer. Upon her commissioning on 7 September 1968, LCDR Gentz served as Flight Deck Officer for JFK’s work-ups and first deployment, to the Mediterranean in April 1969. In May 1970, CDR Gentz returned to the U.S. Naval Academy as an instructor in Aeronautical Engineering and Naval Systems Engineering, becoming Chairman of the Aerospace Engineering Department. He concurrently earned a Master of Science degree in Business Administration from George Washington University. He was promoted to commander in July 1971.
In March 1974, CDR Gentz reported to Airborne Early Warning Training Squadron ONE TWO ZERO (RVAW-120) for training in the E-2C Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft. In September 1974 he assumed duty as Executive Officer of VAW-125, which had just received the E-2C, and assumed command of the squadron in August 1975. VAW-125 embarked on carrier JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV-67) for a Mediterranean deployment from June 1975 to January 1976, and was onboard when KENNEDY and guided missile cruiser BELKNAP (CG-26,) collided, killing seven sailors and severely damaging BELKNAP while one sailor on JFK died. In December 1975, VAW-125 was awarded the Battle Efficiency “E,” the Safety “S” and the “Golden Anchor” retention award (believed to be the only U.S. Navy unit to receive all three awards in a single year) along with a Meritorious Unit Citation. CDR Gentz then reported to the Commander SIXTH Fleet staff as Development Officer, embarked in guided-missile cruiser ALBANY (CG-10) and homeported in Gaeta, Italy. In October 1977, he reported to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations as Head, Aircraft Cost Analysis (OP-96) and was promoted to captain on 1 January 1979.
In October 1979, CAPT Gentz became Head of Program and Budget Branch (Op-501) in the Office of the CNO, and in January 1983 became Deputy Director for General Program and Planning Division (Op-90B) in the Office of the CNO. In October 1983, he reported to Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIRSYSCOM) as Program Manager for E-2/C-2 aircraft.
In March 1984, he was designated a rear admiral (lower half) for duty in a billet commensurate with that grade as the acting Vice Commander of Naval Air Systems Command. In September 1984 he became Program Director for Tactical Aircraft in NAVAIRSYSCOM. He was promoted to rear admiral (lower half) on 1 September 1985 and received designation as a Material Professional. In May 1986, RDML Gentz assumed command of the Pacific Missile Test Center at Point Mugu. In September 1987, he was designated a rear admiral (two star) for duty in a billet commensurate with that grade and in May 1988 became the Vice Commander of NAVAIRSYSCOM.
On 1 October 1989, RADM Gentz was promoted to vice admiral and assumed command of NAVAIRSYSCOM, with the immense responsibility of providing full life-cycle support of naval aviation aircraft, weapons and systems operated by sailors and Marines, including research, design, development and systems engineering, acquisition, test and evaluation, training facilities and equipment, repair and modification, and in-service engineering and logistics support. VADM Gentz’ career came to an untimely end due to delays and cost overruns in the A-12 Avenger II all-weather carrier-based stealth attack aircraft program to replace the A-6 Intruder, which was subsequently cancelled by Secretary of Defense Cheney in January 1991. Although a subsequent DoD IG investigation determined that cost estimates had not been suppressed as alleged, Secretary of the Navy H. Lawrence Garrett directed VADM Gentz to retire before he had sufficient time in grade to retain the three-star rank. VADM Gentz retired in January 1991.
RADM Gentz’ awards include, the Legion of Merit (3,) Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation, Battle “E” Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal (2,) Sea Service Ribbon, and Pistol Ribbon.
Following his retirement from active duty, Dick Gentz worked for several years in the academic and commercial sector. He was a Ramsey Fellow of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and a Project Manager at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Center in Chantilly, VA. He was a member of the Tailhook Association, Association of Naval Aviation, U.S. Naval Institute, Naval War College, Navy League, and was an officer in the Naval Historical Foundation.
There will be a memorial gathering at a date to be determined. The Family requests that any donations in his name go to the Alzheimers Association or U.S. Naval Academy Foundation.
RADM Gentz was remembered as a sterling example of a naval officer who loved flying Navy airplanes, and who had a cheerful presence and sense of humor. He served in the carrier airborne ASW community during the challenging days of the rapid increase in capability of the Soviet submarine force and significantly expanded out-of-area operations and contact with U.S. Navy forces. He was certainly a leader in bringing the greatly increased airborne early warning capability of the E-2C Hawkeye to full operational status, and being awarded the “E,” the “S” and the “Golden Anchor” in one year certainly wasn’t by chance; it was due to some truly extraordinary leadership. It is hard to imagine a career path that could have better prepared him for his last tour as Commander of Naval Air Systems Command, and he should at least be remembered for the many programs that went right under his leadership. The A-12 was an immense high-risk technological leap forward; what is surprising is that anyone was surprised that it was costing more and taking longer than originally thought. The A-12 was a 57 billion dollar program that was 1 billion dollars and one year behind schedule (which seems quaint by today’s standards.) At the time, numerous major DoD programs were experiencing similar cost and time overruns and to some degree the A-12 was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and VADM Gentz paid the price. There are numerous lessons learned in the A-12 debacle that are applicable to Navy leadership even today. Whether fair or not, RADM Gentz was steeped in the total responsibility of command, and retired with the grace and dignity befitting a true leader who loved the U.S. Navy and served it extremely well for over three decades.
It is with a heavy heart that the family of Xenophon George
Glavas, “Zene”, announce that he peacefully passed away of a
sudden illness on June 20, 2018. He was surrounded by his family.
Zene was born in Kani, Greece in February of 1942 during WW11.
He immigrated to America with his father, George, and his two
sisters, Panigiota and Anastasia when he was seven. The family
was reunited in Holyoke, Massachusetts, where his mother, Mary,
and two other siblings, Demetrios and Constance had immigrated
two years prior to escape the Germans. Mary was also pregnant at
the time with Bessie, another sister.
He was active in the Holyoke Boy’s Club, graduated from Holyoke
High School and attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst,
where he met his wife, Pamela Chace. He served in the Navy as an
aviation navigator during the Vietnam War and was awarded a Silver Star.
He reached the rank of Captain in the US Navy.
Upon graduation from San Diego State University, he worked in the aerospace and undersea industries as mechanical engineer and project manager at Naval Electronics Lab, ITT, and TRW/ESL/Northrup until his retirement. He was awarded two patents for his work in fiber optics. In retirement he was an avid political debater, a member of several political blogs and a worldwide traveler. He also loved to read and walk on the beach.
He is predeceased by his son Matthew Glavas and survived by his wife of 53 years, Pamela: his daughter, Elizabeth and her husband, Susan Jahan-Parwar; his son, Steven, and his wife Elin Glavas; eight precious grandchildren, whom he loved dearly; his brother, Demetrios Glavas; two sisters, Constance Glavas and Bessie Glavas; and several nieces and nephews.
His funeral was held at St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church on June 27, 2018 with burial following at Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275