May, Robert Edward, CDR

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
112X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Submarine Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1956-1959, 112X, USS Quillback (SS-424)
Service Years
1940 - 1970
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Cold War
Order of the Spanish Main
Order of the Shellback
Order of the Golden Dragon

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Rhode Island
Rhode Island
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Eugene Claude Ipox, Jr., TM1 to remember May, Robert Edward, CDR USN(Ret).

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Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Aug 26, 2012
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin US Navy Retired 30

 Unofficial Badges 

US Navy Honorable Discharge Order of the Shellback Cold War Medal Order of the Golden Dragon

 Military Association Memberships
United States Naval Academy Alumni AssociationUnited States Submarine Veterans, Inc. (USSVI)
  1944, United States Naval Academy Alumni Association - Assoc. Page
  2009, United States Submarine Veterans, Inc. (USSVI) [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
May, Robert Edward CDR USN Ret
went on eternal patrol August 26, 2012. Born at the beginning of an Age of Aquarius on February 2, 1924 in Kingston Rhode Island to Henry Gustaav, PHd, and Marguerite Uebel May, his dad (pathologist) passed at an early age, so he never really knew his dad. At age 15 Bob was Rochester's 1939 Soap Box Derby Champ. At age 16 he soloed his first airplane. At 17 he hailed an appointment from New York to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis. Graduating class of 1944 just in time to join MacArthur's return to the Philippines onboard the Flagship USS Nashville in the landing at Leyte Gulf, and survived the largest naval battle in history. On December 13, 1944 at 20 years of age Ensign Robert witnessed the face of a kamikaze pilot pass within arm's length of his watch on the aft tower just before hitting the Nashville's command center and killing or wounding 323 onboard. Upon return to the States for repairs he immediately married his sweetheart Ruth Schlitzer. Post WWII Bob sailed into the Silent Service of Submarines as Lt on Clamagore and Lt Commander Threadfin in Key West. After several years and several children he attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, onward to Cambridge earning a Master's in Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and then Commanding Officer of the USS Quillback. In 1959 Bob was assigned to Pittsfield Massachusetts as part of the original development team for the guidance system on the Polaris nuclear missile program which placed nuclear warheads onboard submarines, and forever changed the face of warfare. As the ninth child to Bob and Ruth had arrived, he was intensely involved with his older boys Soap Box Derby cars which resulted in both boys racing in the final heat, and the winner by inches advanced to race at Akron. After 25 years in the Navy moving from Key West, to Monterey, to Charleston, Groton, Pittsfield, Cambridge, San Diego; one end of the country to the other, Bob finally settled with Honeywell where he spent another 25 years as an engineer in Process Control. He was an organizer and volunteer at church, scouts, little league, blood drives, all the while raising ten children. Around Phoenix one would have run into him on his daily hike of Squaw Peak or Lookout Mountain, at the Bridge table, or at the Arizona Electric Car Assn. as a past President. Bob provided for mom and the 10 children: Robert Edward Jr., William Raymond, Joanne Margaret (Mell), Ruth Anne (Hoffman), Eileen Kathryn, Cynthia Marie (Ponath), James Walter (Sugene), Donald Fredrick (Connie), John Henry (Chris Ann), and Theresa Carol. Bob is survived by his brother Walt, nine of his children, 15 grand, and 11 great grandchildren, and survived his sister Kay Guncheon. Daggie was always on duty as he took on the most arduous tasks, never complained, set a profound example of leadership for his children, and pioneered innovative solutions in some of the most dangerous and stressful challenges imaginable. Robert will rejoin his awaiting bride of 67 years, with full honors, in Arlington National Cemetery, a stone's throw from the cherry blossoms lining the river banks where they once talked of beginning a life together, and life was young.
Other Comments:
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 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar
Submarine Officer Badge
Command at Sea

 Duty Stations
US NavyUSS Clamagore (SS-343)USS Threadfin (SS-410)USS Quillback (SS-424)
  1944-1945, 111X, USS Nashville (CL-43)
  1949-1950, 114X, USS Clamagore (SS-343)
  1955-1956, 112X, USS Threadfin (SS-410)
  1956-1959, 112X, USS Quillback (SS-424)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater
  1945-1945 World War II
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Borneo Operations
  1950-1953 Korean War
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval Academy
  1940-1944, United States Naval Academy
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