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Capt. Francis J. Chester

1923 - 09
Graveside military honors for retired U.S. Navy Capt. Francis J. Chester, of Daytona Beach, Fla., who died Monday, April 14, 2003, will be at Arlington National Cemetery. Capt. Chester was born in East Hartford, Conn., Sept. 2, 1923. He joined the Navy in 1943 from Tufts College and was commissioned at USWRMS Columbia University in 1944. He obtained his B.S. degree from Trinity College, Hartford, Conn., in 1947. During World War II, he commanded landing crafts that took the first waves of troops ashore at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. His craft also landed the first elements occupation forces (Army's 98th Division) at Wakayana, Japan, in September 1945. In 1946, he was a boat group commander at the atom bomb tests on Bikini Atoll. Other assignments included duty with NATO and at Naval Station Subic Bay, Puerto Rico, and Guantanamo, Cuba. He retired on June 30, 1979. Capt. Chester was a member of MOWW, Retired Officers Association, life member of D.A.V., Navy League, Army-Navy Club, Washington, D.C., and Halifax River Yacht Club. He loved music, dancing, swimming and traveling, especially to the LOGAN reunions. Capt. Chester is survived by his wife of 13 years, Antoinette DeRose Chester; two sons, Stephen Chester and his wife, Sara, of Burke, Va., and Gregory Chester and his wife, Lisa, of Palm Coast, Fla.; a daughter, Mary and her husband, Capt. Richard Rushton, USN, of Washington, D.C.; a brother, Cmdr. Raymond Chester and his wife, Bernadette, of Virginia Beach, Va.; a sister, Rita Pelletier of Coventry, Conn.; five grandchildren; two stepsons, P. Louis DeRose and his wife, Joan, of Greensburg and David DeRose and his wife, Johnette, of Latrobe; and five stepgrandchildren, Peter, Catharine, Nathaniel, Christopher and Eric DeRose. Capt. Chester was predeceased by his first wife, Margaret Hartung Chester, who died in May 1986. Donations in Capt. Chester's memory may be made to the , Volusia/Flagler Branch, 111 N. Frederick Ave., Suite 100, Daytona Beach, FL 32114.
Published in Greensburg Tribune Review on Apr. 17, 2003
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