Alfred Bowne Metsger – Rear Admiral, United States Navy

From a contemporary press report

A.B. Metsger, 89, an Arlington resident and retired Navy Rear Admiral who had served on active duty as an aviator and aviation engineer, died August 4, 2000, at the Cherrydale Health Care Center in Arlington, Virginia. He had heart and kidney ailments.

When the United States entered World War II, Admiral Metsger was a torpedo plane design chief in the Bureau of Aeronautics and program manager of projects such as the legendary TBF Avenger warplane.

In 1943, he was ordered to the Pacific, where he was air group commander and air officer on the Saratoga. Aboard that carrier, he participated in the vicious campaign for Iwo Jima, during which the Saratoga took hits from kamikazes. He received a Bronze Star with combat “V.”

After the war, he returned to the Bureau of Aeronautics as fighter design chief, during the service's transition to jet aircraft. Later posts included a staff tour with the Pacific Fleet and another tour with the bureau, beginning in 1952, as director in the early years of its guided missiles division. His last assignment, before retiring from active duty in 1959, was a four-year tour as deputy chief of the Office of Naval Research.

After two years in California, Admiral Metsger returned to the Washington area. In 1961, he established the Washington consulting firm Technology Services, which he operated until 1980, when he closed its offices and retired.

Over the years, he had served as class scribe for Shipmate magazine. His hobbies included sailing, gardening and beekeeping. He was a member of Navy and technical societies.

Admiral Metsger, a New Jersey native, was a 1931 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and received a master's degree in aeronautical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He served aboard the battleship Texas and the cruiser Indianapolis before becoming a naval aviator in 1934. Before World War II, he had flown seaplanes from the cruiser Richmond and torpedo bombers from the legendary carrier Enterprise.

His marriage to Blanche Metsger ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 46 years, Marilyn Carter Metsger of Arlington; two stepdaughters, Cynthia Adams McCrory of Staunton, Va., and Abigail Adams Buckley of Arlington; and six stepgrandchildren.


On Friday, August 4, 2000, ALFRED B. METSGER of Arlington, VA, beloved husband of Marilyn C. Metsger; father of Abigail Adams Buckley of Arlington, VA and Cynthia Adams McCrory of Staunton, VA; grandfather of Lt. (jg) Elizabeth Jenkins Touse of Hawaii, Thomas Adams Buckley of Arlington, VA, Sarah Hale McCrory, Allison Adams McCrory, Carter Bowne McCrory and Clifton Adams McCrory, all of Staunton, VA. Funeral services at Ft. Myer Chapel on Friday, August 25, at 9 a.m. Interment Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 2609 N. Glebe Rd., Arlington, VA 22207.


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 11/03/1910
  • DATE OF DEATH: 08/04/2000

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