James Chester Day, Jr. – Commander, United States Navy

From a contemporary press report:

James Chester Day Jr., 77, who spent 25 years in the Navy and retired in 1967 as a commander of a mobile construction battalion in Vietnam during the war there, died of renal failure January 3, 2002, at his home in Front Royal, Virginia.

Commander Day, a civil engineer by trade, did engineering work on submarine communications projects for Computer Sciences Corporation from the late 1960s to early 1970s. He then was a Navy Department civilian until retiring in 1980 as head of engineering and design at the Naval Facilities Engineering Command in Washington.

In the 1980s, he was an engineering consultant at Lord Fairfax Community College in Middletown, Va., and the Front Royal 4-H Education Center.

He was a Detroit native and grew up in Natchez, Mississippi. He enlisted in the Navy in 1942 and served as a radioman in the South Pacific.

He received a fleet appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, where he graduated in 1948. At the academy, he was the eastern intercollegiate and national collegiate saber-fencing champion, was selected to the 1948 all-American fencing team and was an alternate on the 1948 U.S. Olympics fencing team.

He also was a civil engineering graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York and received a master's degree in management science from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

Commander Day's military decorations included the Bronze Star.

He was a former deacon at Front Royal Presbyterian Church.

Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Eleanor Forrester “Pat” Day of Front Royal; three sons, James Copeland Day of Chantilly, Laurence Steven Day of Vienna and John Randall Day of Front Royal; a daughter, Rebecca Sue Day of Front Royal; two sisters; and six grandchildren.


On Thursday, January 3, 2002. Funeral services will be held Monday, January 7, at 2:00 p.m. at Front Royal Presbyterian Church. Family will receive friends on Sunday from 7 to 9 p.m. at Maddox Funeral Home in Front Royal, VA. Burial will be Thursday, January 17 at 3:00 p.m. in Arlington National Cemetery.

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