William L. Dawson – Captain, United States Navy

From a contemporary press report

William L. Dawson, a resident of Annapolis, Maryland, died n Westwood, Massachusetts of cardiac arrest on April 25, 1997.

Funeral services will be held at the Ft. Myer Chapel at 0900hrs on Tuesday, May 6, with interment to follow at Arlington National Cemetery.

Captain Dawson was born in Amsterdam, New York on March 1, 1910. He subsequently moved to Boston, Massachusetts where he attended Boston Latin School. After graduating from the Mt. Hermon School, he attended Georgia Institute of Technology for one year prior to his entrance to the Naval Academy in 1929. Upon graduation in 1933 Captain Dawson served in New Mexico, following which he began flight training in January 1936, obtaining his designation as a naval aviator in 1937.

Following flight assignments in Ranger, Lexington and Indianapolis, he served during World War II as aviation aide ComBat Div Two and ComBat Pac ending the war as executive officer, Gilbert Islands.

He became commanding officer NAS Brunswick, Maine in 1946 prior to his posting in 1947 to London as Assistant Naval Attache and Guided Missile Liaison Officer. Subsequent tours as Executive Officer NAS Patuxent River and Commanding Officer NAS Port Lyautey, French Morocco flanked graduation in 1952 from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

He was Commanding Officer Pine Island (AV-12) and Princeton (CVS-37) prior to his final assignment as Head Western Hemisphere Plans Branch (Op-603) CNO. Retirement from active duty was in June 1963. Following retirement from the Navy, he worked for seven years at The Center for Naval Analysis, retiring in 1970.

Decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star With Combat ”V”, and Air Medal.

An avid sailor, he belonged to the Annapolis Yacht Club and the New York Yacht Club, as well as the Army and Navy Club and the Army-Navy Country Club. He was also an active trustee of the Naval Academy Foundation (1976-1996) before becoming a Trustee Emeritus 1996. He also served as a long time Director of Robroy Industries and Sporran Inc. both of Pittsburgh, PA.

His beloved wife, Jean, predeceased him in 1970. He is survived by a son, William L., Jr. of Dedham, MA, daughter, Mary K. of Annapolis, MD and five grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Capt. William L. Dawson Memorial Honor Scholarship, c/o USNA Foundation Inc., 25 Maryland Ave, Annapolis, MD 21401.

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