Alex Sinclair – Rear Admiral, United States Navy

Courtesy of the United States Naval Academy

Rear Admiral Alex Sinclair, United States Navy, Retired, age 82, of Great Falls, Virginia, died on September 14, 2009 at Arleigh Burke Nursing Center.

He was born on January 30, 1927 to the late Alexander M. and Dorothy Smith Sinclair. He was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California where he graduated from Santa Cruz High School and enlisted in the Navy in 1944.

He received Fleet appointment to the United States Naval Academy and graduated with the class of 1951. While at the Academy he was a member of the varsity football and track teams.

Upon Graduation, his first assignment was aboard the USS ANTIETAM (CV 36) operating as a unit of the Seventh Fleet in the Sea of Japan during the Korean War.

His next two sea assignments, in succession, were aboard the USS SHANGRI LA (CV 38) and the USS YORKTOWN (CV 10).

While deployed to the Seventh Fleet on the USS Yorktown he was one of the first in his class to receive orders to Command. As a Lieutenant (jg) he assumed command of the coastal minesweeper USS FIRECREST (AMS 10) and did combat minesweeping operations in and around the Yellow Sea. The ship was home ported in Sasebo, Japan.

He next attended Submarine School in New London, Connecticut, followed by sea assignments on the USS RASHER (SS 269) and USS BAYA (SS 319). He became Executive Officer on the USS PIPER (SS 409) followed by his assuming command of the USS BANG (SS 385). While in command of the USS BANG the submarine made a highly successful Special Operations Patrol in the Barents Sea off the Kola Inlet.

Following submarine command, RADM Sinclair was assigned as Executive Officer on the Guided Missile Cruiser USS DALE (CG 19), which completed a Seventh Fleet Deployment including the Gulf of Tonkin operations during the Viet Nam War. His next assignment was as Commanding Officer of the Destroyer Escort USS EDWARD McDONNELL (DE 1043), deployed to the Sixth Fleet.

Admiral Sinclair”s next sea assignment was as Commander of the Guided Missile Cruiser USS LEAHY (CG 16). The ship made a Sixth Fleet deployment to the Mediterranean Sea. During this cruise in 1975 the USS LEAHY made an historic port of call at Saint Petersburg, a Soviet port. Thus the USS LEAHY was the first US Navy ship to visit the Soviet Union in over thirty years, or, before the ending of WW II in 1945.

After Selection to Flag rank and several Pentagon tours, Rear Admiral Sinclair's last sea assignment was COMMANDER CRUISER DESTROYER GROUP FIVE in the Pacific Fleet. While in command of GROUP FIVE he was deployed to the Seventh Fleet as a BATTLE GROUP COMMANDER on his flagship USS CHICAGO (CG 9).

He retired from the Navy in 1982 after a very active 38 years of duty to the Navy and our Country.

After retirement Admiral Sinclair attended American University Law School, became a member of the Washington, D.C. Bar and a practicing attorney. His practice consisted primarily of criminal defense work in the Criminal Division of the Washington D.C. court system.

Admiral Sinclair was a mentor to his children and grandchildren and to countless young people during private life, his career in the Navy and during his law practice in the juvenile court system in Washington D.C.

He had an extraordinary sense of humor and a generous spirit and will be greatly missed by his family and his friends.

May the wind always fill his sails and the seas ahead be forever calm.

Alex was the beloved husband of 59 years of Ginny Sinclair, loving and devoted father of Amy Dahm and her husband Henry of Great Falls, Virginia, and Elizabeth Larson and her husband Willard of San Diego, Caifornia, proud grandfather of Alex Dahm and his wife Kerry, Nick Dahm, Tyler Larson, Zachary Larson and Katelynn Larson.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, September 21, at 2:30 p.m., at St. Francis Episcopal Church, 9220 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls, Virginia.

Graveside services with full military honors will be held on Tuesday, December 22,2009, at 1pm at Arlington National Cemetery.

The family suggests that memorial contributions may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation of Parkinson”s Research, Attn; Tribute Gifts, Church Street Station, P.O. Box 780, New York City, New York 10008-0780.

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