Francis J. Chester – Captain, United States Navy

 From a contemporary press report:


Graveside Military Honors for Captain Francis J. Chester, United Statea Navy, (retired), of Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, who died on April 14, 2003 at Olds Hall Good Samaritan Center, Daytona Beach, Florida, will be at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, at a later date.

Captain Chester was born in East Hartford, Connecticut on September 2, 1923, to Raymond and Josephine Chester. His lifelong ambition was to join the Navy, which he did in 1943 on the V-12 program at Tufts College and was commissioned at USWRMS Columbia University in 1944. He obtained his B.S. degree from Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut 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 important assignments included duty as Assistant Chief of Staff, logistics on the Staff Commander, second fleet commander Striking Fleet Atlantic (NATO); duty 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, DC, Halifax River Yacht Club. He loved music, dancing swimming and traveling, especially to the LOGAN reunions.

Captain Chester is survived by his wife of 13 years, Antoinette; two sons, Stephen Chester and his wife, Sara, Burke, Virginia; Gregory Chester and his wife, Lisa, Palm Coast, Florida; daughter, Mary and her husband Captain Richard Rushton, USN, Washington, D.C.; brother, Commander Raymond Chester and his wife, Bernadette, Virginia Beach, Virginia; sister, Rita Pelletier, Coventry, Connecticut; 5 grandchildren, Bridget Rushton and Timothy Rushton USMC, Juliana, Catherine and Thomas Chester; two stepsons, P. Louis DeRose and his wife, Joan, Greensburg, Pennsylvania; David DeRose and his wife, Johnette, Latrobe, Pennsylvania; five step-grandchildren, Peter, Catharine, Nathaniel, Christopher and Eric DeRose.

Captain Chester was pre-deceased by his first wife, Margaret Hartung Chester, who died in May, 1986.

Donations in Captain Chester's memory may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, Volusia/Flagler Branch, 111 N. Frederick Ave., Suite 100, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114.

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