Greer, Howard Earl, VADM

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Vice Admiral
Last Primary NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
Service Years
1943 - 1978
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

22 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Greer, Howard Earl, VADM USN(Ret).
Contact Info
Home Town
Tyler, TX
Last Address
Coral Gables, FL

Date of Passing
Nov 22, 2015
Location of Interment
U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery - Annapolis, Maryland
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

US Navy Retired 30

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback Cold War Medal Gulf of Tonkin Yacht Club Order of the Golden Dragon

Cold War Veteran Vietnam Veteran 50th Commemoration Vietnam 50th Anniversary

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Howard Earl Greer, Vice Admiral, USN (RET) died of natural causes on Nov. 22, 2015 in Coral Gables, Fl.  He was born May 1, 1921 in Tyler, Texas and attended public school there until entering Tyler Junior College. He received a congressional appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy and was commissioned an Ensign upon graduation with the class of 1944. VADM Greer served on active duty from June 1943 to April 1978 and accrued a total of 5,292 flight hours and 418 carrier landings.

After operational training in Florida, Greer served on the USS Princeton (CVL-23). He received flight training at NAS Ottumwa, NAS Corpus Christi, and NAS Miami, earning his carrier qualification in 1946. He attended the Naval War College from August 1953 to May 1954.

Aviation Commands include Commanding Officer VF-64 (F3H) 1957-1958; Commander CVA-10 (aboard USS Shangri La) 1961-1962; Commanding Officer USS Hancock (CVA-19) 1968-1969; Chief of Naval Air Reserve Training 1969-1971; Commander, Carrier Division THREE 1972-1974; and Commander, Naval Air Forces Atlantic Fleet 1975-1978.  Combat Tours include WWII: USS Princeton (CVL-23); Ship's officer in Gilbert Islands, Tarawa, Roi, Namur, Eniwetok, Palau, Guam, Saipan, Battle of Philippines Sea and Rabaul campaigns; Vietnam: four tours with Seventh Fleet 1964-1972; and Yankee Station commander (CTG-77.0) in 1972.

Significant career events were as speech writer for Admiral Arthur W. Radford when testifying before congress during the "Revolt of the Admirals" in 1949; introducing the Sparrow III missile to the Fleet with F3H-2 in 1957; Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans for Seventh Fleet for the first two years (1964 -1966) of the Vietnam War; and Tactical Commander for all air operations by naval forces in Linebacker I campaign, including the mining of Haiphong Harbor in May 1972 as Yankee station commander.

VADM Greer's awards include the Distinguished Service Medal (2), Legion of Merit (4), Navy Commendation Metal, Pacific Theater WW II Ribbon with 9 Battle Stars, and Vietnamese Distinguished Service Award. He retired from active duty as Commander, Naval Air Forces Atlantic Fleet in April 1978.

Upon retirement from the Navy, VADM Greer moved to La Jolla, Ca, where he worked as a consultant for General Dynamics from 1978 to 1996. He was a proud member of the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association and the Tailhook Association, and he was deeply honored to be a Golden Eagle and serve as its member Chair for several years.

The third of four children of a grocery salesman, Greer's lifelong love of gardening came from his mother's passion for breeding hybrid rose variations, a local hobby common in his native Tyler, rose capital of the world. Howard loved the outdoors and horse riding and for many years was a member of Los Rancheros Visitadores, based in Santa Ynez, California, the world's largest and oldest men's Western riding organization, whose membership included former President Ronald Reagan. Greer was an accomplished card and domino player, a hunter, a tennis buff, and a dancer. He also was an avid golfer, and a devoted fan of football, which he starred in at Tyler High School. Especially in his later years, he enjoyed traveling and exploring new cultures, and loved good conversation and time spent with family and friends.

VADM Greer married to the former Margaret Goolsby of Macon, Georgia in 1944; the former Suzanne Johnson of Washington, D.C. in 1965, and the former Dale Price of Washington, D.C., in 1985. He will be greatly missed by his six children and their spouses: Margaret Simmons (Chris), Darby Monger (Jack), David Greer (Andrew), Briand Greer (Jeanne), Holly Thompson (Michael), and Howard Greer, Jr. (Stacey); as well as his ten grandchildren, Hayley Connors (Sean), Halsey and Alden Monger, Ashley, Jaime Katherine, Craig and Hunter Thompson, Grant and Anna Greer, and Park Simmons; as well as great-grandchildren Michaela and Sean Connors, Jr.; and his numerous nieces, nephews, and family members in the Tyler area.
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Naval Aviator Wings

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
USS Princeton (CVL-23)NAS PensacolaUS NavyCNO - OPNAV
NAS Jacksonville FLVF-62 GladiatorsVF-64 Free LancersUSS Midway (CVA-41)
Carrier Division 7 (COMCARDIV 7)VF-101 Grim ReapersCommander Carrier Air Wing 10 (CVW-10)USS Ponchatoula (AO-148)
USS Hancock (CV/CVA-19)Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVAIRPAC)Commander Navy Air Forces Reserve (COMNAVAIRESFOR/CNAFR)Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT)/Commander Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT)
  1943-1944, USS Princeton (CVL-23)
  1944-1945, NAS Pensacola
  1946-1948, VF-7A Hells Angels
  1948-1949, CNO - OPNAV
  1949-1950, NAS Jacksonville FL
  1950-1951, CNO - OPNAV
  1951-1952, VF-62 Gladiators
  1957-1958, VF-64 Free Lancers
  1957-1958, 131X, USS Midway (CVA-41)
  1958-1959, 131X, Carrier Division 7 (COMCARDIV 7)
  1959-1960, VF-101 Det Key West, VF-101 Grim Reapers
  1961-1962, Commander Carrier Air Wing 10 (CVW-10)
  1966-1967, USS Ponchatoula (AO-148)
  1967-1969, USS Hancock (CV/CVA-19)
  1969-1969, Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVAIRPAC)
  1969-1972, Chief of Naval Air Reserve Training, Commander Navy Air Forces Reserve (COMNAVAIRESFOR/CNAFR)
  1972-1972, Carrier Division 3 (COMCARDIV 3)
  1972-1975, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT)
  1975-1978, COMNAVAIRLANT
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1943 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/New Guinea Campaign (1943-44)
  1943-1943 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Treasury-Bougainville Operation
  1943-1943 Gilbert Islands Operation/Battle of Tarawa
  1944-1944 Marshall Islands Operation (1944)/Battle of Eniwetok Atoll (Operation Catchpole)
  1944-1944 Marshall Islands Operation (1944)/Battle of Roi-Namur Island
  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 Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Tinian
  1944-1944 Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Guam
  1966-1967 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign (66-67)
  1967-1969 Yankee Station, North Vietnam
  1967-1967 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase III Campaign (67-68)
  1972-1972 Yankee Station, North Vietnam
  1972-1972 Vietnam War/Vietnam Cease-fire Campaign (72-73)/Operation Linebacker I
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval AcademyNaval War CollegeIndustrial College of the Armed Forces, Washington, D.C.
  1940-1943, United States Naval Academy
  1953-1954, Naval War College
  1960-1961, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Washington, D.C.
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Jun 08, 1943, Commissioned as Ensign
  Sep 01, 1944, Promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade
  Jul 01, 1946, Promoted to Lieutenant
  Jan 01, 1954, Promoted to Lieutenant Commander
  Mar 01, 1958, Promoted to Commander
  Jul 01, 1968, Promoted to Captain
  Jul 01, 1970, Promoted to Rear Admiral
  Feb 15, 1975, Promoted to Vice Admiral
  Oct 15, 2017, General Photos1
 Military Association Memberships
Naval Order of the United StatesUnited States Naval Academy Alumni AssociationWWII Memorial National RegistryUnited States Navy Memorial
  0, Naval Order of the United States
  0, United States Naval Academy Alumni Association - Assoc. Page
  2020, WWII Memorial National Registry
  2020, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
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