Capt. William John Wacker (USN)

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WACKER, WILLIAM JOHN, Capt, USN

Born of William and Mardelle in Seattle, June 23, 1923, deceased in peace, January 17, 2002. A graduate of Seattle's Franklin High, Class of 1940, Bill joined the Husky's Sigma Chi. World War II interrupted his academia in 1941. Commissioned as a Naval Aviator in 1943, he flew fighter combat missions in the South Pacific. After serving on the USS Midway and receiving the Presidential Unit Citation, he became CO of VQ-1 in Atsugi, Japan. In 1964, Bill served as Executive Officer of the USS Kearsarge; the first vessel to track and recover Mercury and Gemini space capsules, providing air support in the Gulf of Tonkin incidents and also hosting John Wayne while filming "In Harm's Way". Completing duty for the Chief of Naval Operations and receiving his engineering degree from the University of Maryland, he assumed command of the USS Annapolis in 1968; the "Gray Ghost of the Vietnam Coast". In 1972, Captain Wacker retired from the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D.C. He enjoyed retirement as a real estate executive. Bill's survivors include his supportive wife,MaryLou of Bicknell, IN, married on March 26, 1949; his daughter, Cheryl Diane; two sons, William Bradley and Timothy John and four grandsons.

He will be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery on February 7, 2002 at 9 a.m. Please honor him with your presence in body and spirit. God bless his soul and may he rest in peace. Memorial contributions may be made to Homeland Security at:

operationhomelandsecurity.org

Published in The Washington Post from Feb. 3 to Feb. 10, 2002