Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1975-1976, NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
Service Years
1943 - 1979
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Iwo Jima

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

91 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember CHESTER, Francis, CAPT.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
East Hartford, Connecticut
Last Address
Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

Date of Passing
Apr 14, 2003
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

US Navy Retired 30

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback Cold War Medal Order of the Golden Dragon

 Military Association Memberships
Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW)Navy League of the United StatesThe Army and Navy Union USA Chapter 12
  1950, Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW)
  1950, Navy League of the United States - Assoc. Page
  1970, The Army and Navy Union USA - Assoc. Page
  1980, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Chapter 12 (Member) (E Hartford, Connecticut) [Verified] - Chap. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Captain Francis J. Chester, U.S.N.
World War II, Iwo Jima & Okinawa and Atomic Tests At Bikini Atoll

Service Dates from 30 June, 1943 to 30 June, 1979.

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 (STRIKFORNATO); and duty at Naval Stations at 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.

Military Honors for Captain Francis J. Chester, United Statea Navy, (retired), were held at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

Other Comments:

Tufts and the V-12 Program: "Leadership for a Lifetime"

This is the fourth exhibit at Tisch Library chronicling the Navy's relationship with Tufts, from 1941-1972.

Tufts and the U.S. Navy had a close and productive relationship from 1941 to 1972. It began when President Leonard Carmichael fought for the establishment of a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) program at Tufts. The first 100 enrollees were from the entering class of 1945, while the second class of entering students, the class of 1946, doubled the size of the NROTC. The standards were high, both mental and physical, paralleling those required for entrance to the United States Naval Academy.

NROTC students were placed in class V-1, USNR on inactive duty and took one course each semester in Naval Science and Tactics as the NROTC "department" was called. In addition, there was a weekly drill day where the uniforms of NROTC midshipmen were worn and practical naval activities, such as signaling, gunnery, and shiphandling, as well as military drills, were practiced.

The NROTC was a vital program to Tufts prior to the war. With the start of World War II, life on the Tufts campus changed dramatically. Large numbers of male students left for military service, while some finished their remaining semesters before being commissioned for active duty.

Tufts' campus was largely transformed into a Naval Training Center, altering its dormitories, dining, and athletic facilities to accommodate the new students.

In the spring of 1943, the Navy Department announced a new nationwide officer training program. Tufts College was once again among the institutions selected. The School for War Service was established and facilitated the Navy College Training Program. The Tufts USNR class V-1, including the NROTC, were to be put on active duty and incorporated into the V-12 program on July 1, 1943.

Visitors' DayV-12 students sent to Tufts from other universities and enlisted sailors from the Atlantic and Pacific fleets were also placed on active duty in the United States Navy on the Tufts campus. Initially, the U.S. Naval V-12 regiment consisted of over 1,000 men. When the active duty program ended in June 1946, over 2,000 officer candidates had been trained at Tufts.

NROTC students were commissioned as ensigns in the USNR or 2nd Lieutenants in the USMCR (Marines), while V-12 students were commissioned after Midshipman?s School or Flight Training. They were sent to the fleet as commission officers.

Many V-12/NROTC students were assigned to the Amphibious Navy, including to Landing Ship Tanks. Tufts students were well represented in major battles across the Pacific such as Lingayen Gulf on the island of Luzon, Saipan, the invasions of the Philippines, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa and in the occupation of Japan. Some also served in the Atlantic, in Europe at Normandy in 1944, and other battle sites. Almost half of the members of the classes of 1945 and 1946 had some involvement at Okinawa, one of the most fiercely fought battles of World War II.

Most of the V-12/NROTC students were separated from the Navy with the end of the World War II after Japan's surrender on August 15 of 1945 and returned to Tufts to complete their interrupted educations. Some did not end the relationship with the regular Navy and had involvement with the Naval Reserve. Several retired from the Navy as lieutenant commanders, commanders, and one as admiral. For example, Peter Merenda, Fran McCarran, Dick Rome, Warren Jackson and Francis Chester attained the rank of captain in the Naval Reserve.

Many enlisted sailors who were serving in the Fleet prior to the creation of the V-12 in 1943, entered into the program after World War II. After being commissioned as officers, they were called to active duty during the Korean War. John W. Rogers, A47, after serving as an enlisted quartmaster second class in the North Atlantic and the South Pacific in the Solomon Islands and Peleliu in 1942-44, was recalled in 1950 for service again in the Korean War.

Members of the V-12/ NROTC also established families and built their careers in many different areas. Some earned Master?s and Doctoral degrees. After distinguished careers most, today, have retired. Some are still at it, vowing to continue working as long as they remain in good health.

The wartime V-12/NROTC graduates echo a common theme: the profound and positive influence of their Navy experience on their lives. Early leadership experience on campus and in the fleet, ?hands-on? ship operations and the ability to think and act under stress had a powerful impact on both their careers and personal lives.
 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1943, Naval Aviation Cadet Program/Navy Pre-flight School (Pensacola, FL)
 Duty Stations
School Assignments - StaffCommander Naval Amphibious Forces Pacific (COMPHIBPAC)US NavyNaval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO)
NAVSTA Subic Bay, PINAVCOMMSTA Puerto RicoNAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
  1943-1944, V-12 Navy College Training Program
  1944-1944, Naval Reserve Midshipmen School/U.S. Naval Reserve Midshipman School, Columbia University New York (CUNY)
  1945-1945, Commander Naval Amphibious Forces Pacific (COMPHIBPAC)
  1945-1945, Landing Craft Utility (LCU)
  1945-1945, Commander Naval Amphibious Forces Pacific (COMPHIBPAC)
  1966-1970, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO)
  1970-1972, NAVSTA Subic Bay, PI
  1973-1974, NAVCOMMSTA Puerto Rico
  1975-1976, NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Iwo Jima Operation
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
  1945-1951 US Occupation of Japan
 Colleges Attended 
Tufts UniversityColumbus UniversityTrinity College, Hartford Connecticut
  1943-1943, Tufts University
  1944-1944, Columbus University
  1945-1947, Trinity College, Hartford Connecticut
 Other News, Events and Photographs
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