Robert Parker Hilton, Sr.
Rear Admiral, United States Navy
Robert Parker Hilton Sr., 77, a Navy Rear Admiral who retired in 1983 as Vice Director for Operations on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, died of congestive heart failure April 28 at Goodwin House East in Alexandria, Virginia, where he had been receiving rehabilitative care for about a week.
Admiral Hilton served 38 years in the Navy, which included command of a destroyer off the coast of Vietnam during the war there. His ship, the USS Davis, was the first vessel to reach the USS Liberty after it was attacked by Israeli aircraft and torpedo boats in the Mediterranean in 1967.
In later assignments, he was assistant chief of staff for logistics at NATO's Allied Forces Southern Command in Naples and deputy assistant chief of staff for plans and policy at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Mons, Belgium.
His postings abroad made Admiral Hilton, who earlier in his career trained as an interpreter in Russian and French, an authority on NATO and its joint operations.
At the Pentagon, he spearheaded the development of a Navy staff office that authored the Navy's maritime strategy for the 1980s.
His decorations included the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star.
After retiring from active military duty, Admiral Hilton worked as a consultant at the Institute for Defense Analyses.
Admiral Hilton, who lived in Alexandria, Virginia, was born in DeKalb County, Georgia. He joined the Navy as a seaman at the end of World War II.
He was commissioned an Ensign after graduating from the University of Mississippi, where he was enrolled in one of the nation's first NROTC programs.
He received a master's degree in Russian affairs from Georgetown University and other degrees from the Naval War College and the National War College.
He was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Atlantic Council, the U.S. Naval Institute and Phi Delta Theta social fraternity.
He was an avid tennis player whose license plate read "LOW LOB." He was past chairman of the tennis committee at the Army Navy Country Club and a past member of the club's board of governors.
Survivors include his wife, Joan M. Hilton
of Alexandria; two children, Robert P. Hilton Jr. of Silver Spring and
Wendy M. Hilton of Vienna; and two grandsons.
On Wednesday, April 28, 2004. Beloved husband of Joan Hilton; father of Robert P. Hilton, Jr., Silver Spring, Maryland, and Wendy M. Hilton, Vienna, Virginia. Survived by two grandchildren, Christopher Hilton Jones and Colin McCamy Jones.
A long time resident of Alexandria, Virginia, Rear Admiral Hilton spent 38 years in the U.S. Navy. He retired as Deputy for Operations (J-3), Joint Chiefs of Staff. He subsequently worked as a Senior Consultant at the Institute for Defense Analyses.
He received his BA from the University of Mississippi in 1948 and his MA in Russian Affairs from Georgetown University in 1964. He was a graduate of the Naval War College, 1961 in Newport, Rhode Island, and the National War College, 1968 in Washington, D.C.
Services will be held at Fort Myer Chapel on Tuesday, May 25, 2004 at 3 p.m. Interment Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, PO Box 5216, Glen Allen, Virginia 23058
Posted 23 May 2004 Updated: 17 October 2004 Updated: 27 August 2005