CAPT James F. Gavin, USN, Ret.


From the HOLY CROSS Magazine FALL 2002 (Vol 36, Issue 4):

[CAPT Gavin was a member of the Class of 1937]

James F. Gavin, Sept. 10, 2002, at the Village House, Newport, R.I., at 86.

Retired Capt. James F. Gavin, USN, served 25 years in the Navy, enlisting in 1941. He spent three years aboard the USS Hogan during World War II and participated in the invasion of North Africa, for which he received a battle star. Mr. Gavin also was awarded five battle stars for his engagement in many of the battles of the Pacific theatre and two battle stars for his involvement in the liberation of the Philippines. During the Korean War, he had been an aide and flag secretary to the commander of mine forces, Pacific Fleet, from 1950 to 1952. From 1952 to 1955, Mr. Gavin had been the executive officer of the USS Gatling; from 1955 to 1958, he worked in the Bureau of Naval Personnel and, from 1958 to 1960, held the post of commanding officer of the USS William R. Rush. His duties also included serving as the commander of the Destroyer Squadron Eight, from 1961 to 1962; staff commander of the Cruiser Destroyer Force, from 1962 to 1964; and member of the Bureau of Naval Personnel, from 1964 to 1966.

After retiring from the Navy, Mr. Gavin held the post of executive director of the Battleship Massachusetts for four years, serving on the board of directors of the USS Massachusetts Memorial, from 1966 to 1997. He then served from 1970 to 1973 as the executive director of the Newport County Law Enforcement Commission and field representative of the Rhode Island Governor’s Justice Commission from 1973 to 1979. From 1979 to 1998, Mr. Gavin volunteered at the Newport Hospital and the St. Joseph’s Soup Kitchen; he was selected as “Volunteer of the Year” at Newport Hospital in 1995. Mr. Gavin was the founder and first president of the “Tin Can Sailors” organization in the 1980s. He had been the president of the Holy Cross Club of Rhode Island and a Holy Cross class agent.

Mr. Gavin is survived by his wife, Gertrude; two sons, James F. Jr. ’65 and Kevin P. ’79; three daughters; 12 grandchildren; and one great-grandson.