NOTAM 16-2015  (Greer)

Golden Eagle NOTAM
VADM Howard E. Greer, USN (Ret)

Emeritus Member

Dear Golden Eagles,

It is my sad duty to inform you that Emeritus Member, VADM Howard E. Greer, USN (Ret), 94 years old, made his Last Take-Off on Sunday November 22, 2015, in Coral Gables, Florida, with his daughter, Dr. Margaret Greer-Simmons, a local psychologist by his side. He was born on May 1, 1921 in Tyler, Texas, and attended public schools there until entering Tyler Junior College. He was appointed to the US Naval Academy by Congressman Beckworth of Texas and graduated in 1943 with the class of 1944. Howard served on active duty from 9 June 1943 to 1 April 1978 and accrued a total of 5,292 flight hours and 418 carrier arrested landings. After graduation, he served in the surface Navy aboard USS Princeton (CVL-23) from August 43 to October 44 as ship’s company during WWII in the Gilbert Islands, Tarawa, Roi, Namur, Eniwetok, Palau, Guam, Saipan, in the Battle of Philippine Sea and Rabaul Campaigns. He began flight training at NAS Ottumwa, Iowa, NAS Corpus Christi, TX, and NAS Miami, FL, earning his wings on November 21, 1945.

Admiral Greer’s first squadron was VF-7A in Quonset Point, RI, and he served aboard USS Leyte from July 46 to July 48. From September 48 to July 49, he served as writer in OPNAV for ADM Arthur Radford when he testified before Congress during the “Revolt of the Admirals” in 1949. He served on COMFAIRJAX Staff, Jacksonville, FL, OPNAV (Aide to DCNO Air), VF-62 aboard USS Coral Sea, SIXTH Fleet Staff and Naval War College through May 54. He commanded VF-64 and flew from USS Midway in June 57 through June 58 and he introduced Sparrow III to the fleet with the F3H-2 in 1957.  He became Commander, Carrier Air Group 10 aboard USS Shangri La from June 61 to August 62. He served as COMSEVENTHFLT, Assistant Chief of Staff Operations, from 64 to 66, beginning his first of four tours in Vietnam.  He commanded USS Ponchatoula (AO-148) from August 66 to August 67 and USS Hancock (CVA-19) from November 67 to February 69 and then to COMNAVAIRPAC as Chief of Staff for 9 months, where he was promoted to RADM in November 69. He served as Commander NAVAIRRESFOR for two years.  And then he was Commander CARDIV THREE, where he was Tactical Commander during all air operations by naval forces in Linebacker I campaign in 1972.  This campaign included the mining of Haiphong Harbor in May 1972, as Yankee Station Commander. His next assignment was as Deputy of Operations and Plans on CINCPACFLT staff for 2 ½ years. He was promoted to VADM in February 75. His last assignment was Commander COMNAVAIRLANT for three years. VADM Greer retired from active duty on April 1, 1978.  His awards include 2 Distinguished Service Medals, 4 Legions of Merit, Navy Commendation Medal, Pacific Theater WWII Ribbon with 9 Battle Stars and Vietnamese Distinguished Service Award.

Howard was guided by the saying, “I must hurry for there they go and I am their leader.” 

After his career in the Navy, he served as a consultant for General Dynamics from 1978 to 1996. Howard was an avid golfer and enjoyed family, friends, tennis, and travel. His wife, Dale, preceded him in death and he is survived by six children and their spouses, 10 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at the U. S. Naval Academy Chapel at 10 AM, 22 December 2015, with graveside burial immediately following the service. It is sad to realize that we have lost another member of “The Greatest Generation.”  Howie will be missed.
In Sadness,
Don Boecker-Pilot