HILL CLARENCE A. HILL, JR. "Mark" Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.) Passed away quietly at his home in McLean, Virginia on Monday, August 29, 2011, of complications from a stroke suffered earlier this year. He was watching his favorite New York Yankees on television. Admiral Hill was born in New Jersey on October 10, 1920. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy in the summer of 1940 as a member of the Class of 1944. It was wartime class that completed the curriculum in three years. Graduating in the summer of 1943, he served on the submarine USS Ray (SS271) during the Pacific campaign of World War II. The submarine conducted many successful patrols, sinking Japanese shipping and endured some hair-raising experiences including sitting on the bottom of Lingayen Gulf while under attack by the Japanese. Following WWII, Admiral Hill became a naval aviator, a rare career change for any naval officer. As an aviator he participated in combat in the Korean War, flying from carriers in a special night attack squadron. He subsequently transitioned to jet aircraft and commanded a squadron of A4 Skyhawk attack planes. Following a tour as the as the Executive Officer of the USS Saratoga, one of our first super carriers, he then commanded the USSS Independence, another modern carrier. Selected for promotion to the rank of rear admiral, he served as head of the U.S. naval mission in Brazil. He spent many of his shore based years involved with manpower affairs and served as the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations for Manpower. Hill retired from active duty in 1973. A year later he became closely associated with recently retired Admiral Thomas Moorer, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Moorer had been the key founder of the Association of Naval Aviation, an organization dedicated to the promotion of naval air. Together Moorer and Hill spent much time on Capitol Hill extolling the importance of naval aviation. They were quite successful in keeping the Congress aware of significant issues involving naval aviation. Later Moorer and Hill founded the Naval Aviation Foundation in order to provide educational and humanitarian services to members of the naval aviation community. Following Moorer's death, Hill became the president of that organization. He was greatly honored to be chosen to deliver the eulogy at Moorer's funeral. Hill championed several causes including the USS Liberty Association, an organization that has unsuccessfully tried to persuade the Congress to convene a special investigation of the attack on the USS Liberty by the Israelis during the conflict in the Mediterranean during 1973. A traditionalist, Hill opposed "women in combat," and expressed himself publicly on the issue. He was also a critic of some of the changes that occurred at the U.S. Naval Academy subsequent to WW II, particularly the "new ethics" program. Hill was fond of breeding race horses and maintained a stable of thoroughbreds that could be seen at tracks in the eastern U.S. He was often in the winner circle and his NavAir Stable still operates in Kentucky. Hill's military awards include the Bronze Star medal with combat "V." Admiral Hill was predeceased by his only child, a daughter Katie, as well as his first wife, the former Virginia Farnsworth, a Navy nurse during WWII. His survivors include his current wife, Maureen King Hill and her son, Tyler. He has always maintained a close relationship with his cousin, Mary Howe and his niece, Lynn Crowe and their families. He also leaves by his English speaking parrot that has been in the family since the days in Brazil many years ago. Viewing will be held on Thursday, September 1at Murphy Funeral Home 4510 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. A funeral service and interment with Full Military Honors will be held at Arlington Cemetery at a date to be announced later. The family requests that contributions be made to the charity of your choice in Admiral Hill's name.The family requests that contributions be made to the charity of your choice in Admiral Hill's name.
Published in The Washington Post from Aug. 31 to Sep. 1, 2011.