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Joseph P. Moorer


1922 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Joseph P. Moorer Obituary
MOORER VADM Joseph P. Moorer, USN (Ret), 91, died peacefully in his sleep on 26 February 2014 at his home in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. His wife, Eleanor, who passed away in 2005, predeceased him. He is survived by his two sons, Chuck and Randolph; daughter, Michelle; and four grandchildren. Admiral Moorer was born in Mount Willing, AL in 1922, and attended the Naval Academy graduating in 1944. His first assignment following graduation was aboard the USS Columbia (CL-56) conducting operations in the Pacific Theater to include participation in the sinking of the Japanese battleship, Yamashiro, at The Battle of Leyte Gulf. Further, on 6 and 9 January 1945 the ship was twice struck by kamikazes while providing gunfire support for the landings at Lingayen Gulf. After the war Admiral Moorer reported to Pensacola for flight training and received his wings in 1948. His first fleet tour was with VF-62 flying the F2H Banshee. Orders to Test Pilot School, Class Seven, and a two-year tour at Service Test came next. His test pilot experience conducting air start and dead stick landing tests in the F9F-6/7 were a highlight of this assignment. Admiral Moorer had been pressed into service to fly these tests because contractor test pilots were prohibited by their company from flying these hazardous flight profiles under all conditions. Admiral Moorer was assigned to the Jacksonville area several times during his Naval career. In 1961 he moved to Cecil Field as the Commanding Officer of VF-62, equipped with the F-8U Crusader. The Crusader was a single-engine, supersonic, carrier-based air superiority jet aircraft and was the last American fighter with guns as the primary weapon. The Crusader was not an easy aircraft to fly, and was often unforgiving in carrier landings. Admiral Moorer s fondest memories of flying were in the F8 under adverse weather conditions. He quickly moved from VF-62 to become Commanding Officer of Carrier Air Group 10, based at Cecil Field, from 1962-1963, during a time that included the Cuban Missile Crisis. In the early 70 s he again return to Jacksonville when he assumed command of Carrier Group-SIX in Mayport, FL. It was during this tour of duty that Admiral Moorer and his wife decided that the Jacksonville area would be their ideal post-Navy home. Admiral Moorer and his beloved Eleanor moved to Ponte Vedra in 1980, which became their first permanent home after almost 35 years of moving every two to three years. In Ponte Vedra Admiral Moorer maintained his commitment to service and over the years was President of Meninack, Chair of the Ponte Vedra Municipal Service District and a member of the Ponte Vedra Board of Adjustment. But he most enjoyed and treasured his service to Jacksonville University. At the invitation of his dear friend, Dr. Fran Kinne, he agreed to become a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Global Affairs under the condition that he would be unavailable Wednesday afternoons because of his prior commitment to a tee time at the Ponte Vedra Club. Dr. Kinne agreed but somehow was able to convince him that his tee time was not as important as the school s needs and there were additional responsibilities at JU that required his attention. As Dr. Kinne transitioned from President to Chancellor, his good friend Bill Gay invited him to redirect his military attention to detail to a number of the W.W. Gay Enterprises. He readily accepted and continued to make the daily rush hour commute from Ponte Vedra to Bill s Westside complex well into his 80 s when he remembered his commitment to that Wednesday tee time. Admiral Moorer was not only disciplined and demanding but also thoughtful, kind and generous. He was exceedingly affable but carried himself with an innate command presence. He was sincerely humble but at his core he possessed the steely self-confidence of a fighter pilot. He was a loving husband and father, a loyal friend and a true southern gentleman. He was as handsome as a Hollywood leading man, a great leader, and an outstanding pilot. And he would be embarrassed and dismissive of this borderline hagiography. Nonetheless it is true and his distinguished career was marked by exceptional achievement at every level of service. Another member of the Greatest Generation has left us. A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, March 10th in Christ Episcopal Church. Interment will be held in Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Moorer NROTC Scholarship Fund or a . Please visit our online Tribute at www.quinn-shalz.com. Services under the direction and care of: Please Sign the Guestbook @ Jacksonville.com
Published in the Florida Times-Union on Mar. 6, 2014
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