Bassett, Leonard Flournoy, CAPT

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Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
111X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Surface Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1968-1970, 11th Naval District
Service Years
1940 - 1970

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Shane Laemmel, MR3 to remember Bassett, Leonard Flournoy, CAPT.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Pine Bluff, AR
Last Address
Coronado, CA

Date of Passing
Feb 06, 2006
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin US Navy Retired 30

 Unofficial Badges 

US Navy Honorable Discharge

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Capt. Bassett passed away Feb. 8 after a long illness, only a few weeks after his 89th birthday.
Leonard Bassett was born in
Pine Bluff, Ark. He attended Arkansas State College before receiving a presidential appointment to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., where he graduated in 1940. In 1943, he married Catherine Garthwaite of Oakland, a marriage that lasted 62 years.

In his 30-year naval career, Capt. Bassett served on a number of ships in the Pacific Fleet. He saw action during World War II aboard the USS Concord and the USS St. Louis, where he was awarded the Bronze Star for his service as an assistant gunnery officer. He eventually served on the staff of legendary Admiral Arleigh  "Knots” Burke. During the Korean conflict, Capt. Bassett served as a gunnery officer aboard the USS Rochester and the USS Iowa, for which he was awarded two additional Bronze Stars, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Korean Service Medal with three combat stars.

Following World War II, Capt. Bassett attended both the
Naval Postgraduate School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned an master's of science degree in electrical engineering in 1949.

During the 1950s Capt. Bassett developed a reputation as one of the Navy's top weapons experts. He served with the Navy's Bureau of Weapons and Inspector of Ordnance service, assisting in the development of guidance technology for the TALOS missile system. He attained the rank of captain in 1959, and served as commanding officer of both the USS Rowan and USS Union. In 1965, Capt. Bassett was appointed commander of the Naval Ammunition Depot at
Oahu, Hawaii. His last tour of duty was assistant chief of staff for administration COM 11.

After his retirement from the Navy in 1970, Capt. Bassett worked for the
United Way, where he headed up the Combined Federal Campaign. He left that job in 1977, and devoted his time to playing golf, building a computer, and spending time with his wife, Cathie in Coronado, their home for 45 years. He was a member of the Coronado Men's Golf Club for more than 35 years, and served on its board of governors in 1971. He played to a 12 handicap, and scored two holes-in-one at the Coronado Golf Course, in 1972 and 1974.

Throughout his life, Capt. Bassett was known and loved for his wonderful and mischievous sense of humor. While serving as commander of the Ammunitions Depot in
Hawaii, he once, according to legend, showed up dressed as a ballerina, complete with leotard and tutu, at a base Halloween party. At sea, at home, or on the golf course, Capt. Bassett was always making the people around him laugh. The men who served under his command remembered his sense of humor, and also knew him as an inspirational by-the-book leader with an unshakable sense of fair play.

Capt. Bassett was preceded in death by his wife, Cathie, and by his brother, Dr. John W. Bassett of
Portland, Ore. He is survived by his two daughters and sons-in-law, Ann and Bob Hite of Basalt, Colo.; and Cee Cee and Emile Barrios of San Diego.
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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
US NavyUSS Norris (DD-859)USS Rochester (CA-124)USS Iowa (BB-61)
USS Bexar (APA-237)USS Rowan (DD-782)Bureau of OrdnanceUSS Union (AKA-106)
Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV)Naval Ammunition Depot, Oahu, Hawaii11th Naval District
  1940-1942, USS Concord (CL-10)
  1943-1945, USS St Louis (CL-49)
  1945-1945, 111X, Commander, Eighth Fleet
  1949-1949, USS Norris (DD-859)
  1949-1951, USS Rochester (CA-124)
  1951-1952, USS Iowa (BB-61)
  1955-1956, 111X, USS Bexar (APA-237)
  1956-1958, USS Rowan (DD-782)
  1958-1961, Naval Inspector of Ordnance, Mishawaka, In, Bureau of Ordnance
  1961-1962, USS Union (AKA-106)
  1962-1965, 111X, Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV)
  1965-1968, Naval Ammunition Depot, Oahu, Hawaii
  1968-1970, 11th Naval District
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1943 New Georgia Campaign (1943)/Battle of Kolombangara
  1943-1943 Northern Solomon Islands Campaign (1943-44)/Battle of Kula Gulf
  1943-1943 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Treasury-Bougainville Operation
  1944-1944 Northern Solomon Islands Campaign (1943-44)/Battle of the Green Islands
  1944-1944 Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Philippine Sea
  1944-1944 Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Saipan
  1944-1944 Leyte Campaign (1944)/Battle of Surigao Strait
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Iwo Jima Operation
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
  1950-1950 Korean War/UN Offensive (1950)/Inchon Landing/Operation Chromite
  1950-1950 Korean War/UN Offensive (1950)/Operation Wonson
  1962-1962 Training Exercise - Tulungan '62
 Colleges Attended 
Arkansas State UniversityUnited States Naval AcademyMassachusetts Institute of Technology
  1934-1936, Arkansas State University
  1936-1940, United States Naval Academy
  1946-1949, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Jun 04, 1940, Commissioned as Ensign
  Apr 15, 1942, Promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade
  Oct 01, 1942, Promoted to Lieutenant
  Oct 17, 1944, Promoted to Lieutenant Commander
  Jan 01, 1951, Promoted to Commander
  Jul 01, 1960, Promoted to Captain
  Feb 07, 2013, General Photos
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