Zechella, Alexander, LCDR

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Lieutenant Commander
Last Service Branch
Civil Engineer
Last Primary NEC
111X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Surface Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1952-1953, Commander Naval Forces Korea (CNFK)
Service Years
1943 - 1953
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Decommissioning
Order of the Golden Dragon
Iwo Jima
Panama Canal
Civil Engineer
Lieutenant Commander

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

26 kb

Home State
Kentucky
Kentucky
Year of Birth
1920
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Zechella, Alexander (Zeke), LCDR.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Newport, KY
Last Address
Vicar's Landing at Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Date of Passing
Aug 15, 2009
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified
Military Service Number
Not Specified

 Official Badges 




 Unofficial Badges 

Sea Bees Badge US Navy Honorable Discharge Order of the Shellback Cold War Medal

Order of the Golden Dragon Blue Star


 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
United States Naval Academy Alumni Association & Foundation
  1945, United States Naval Academy Alumni Association & Foundation - Assoc. Page


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

LCDR Alexander Philip "Zeke" ZECHELLA
WWII destroyers and a Seabee in Korea
Design engineer on the USS Nautilus

Born Aug 11, 1920 in Newport, KY he worked at odd jobs as a young boy to help his family through the great depression. He excelled in both academics and athletics and was named to the state championship football, basketball and track teams. Graduating, president of his class, from Newport High School in 1938 he then attended the University of Kentucky on a football scholarship for one year. He was then awarded and appointment to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD where he was a member of the football team. Zeke graduated with a degree in engineering in 1943. He married his childhood sweetheart, Jean Millicent Bary on June 24, 1942. He was assigned to the destroyer USS Greer DD-145, as assistant engineering officer, in the north Atlantic during the first part of WWII. He became the XO, second in command,  of the USS Ringgold DD-500 at the age of 23 and participated in the Pacific Theater until the end of the war.

He returned home to his family, remained in the Navy, and earned a Masters degree  in civil engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1948 while stationed in Long Beach, California. Zechella utilized his engineering knowledge while he was in charge of construction projects at Navy bases in Alaska and spent two tours of duty in the Aleutian Islands on Adak, where Zeke was the resident officer in charge of constructing new officers quarters. Before and during construction the family lived in a Quonset Hut, which was quite an adventure! He
served with the Seabees during the Korean War and after many moves and tours of duty Zeke resigned from the Navy as a Lt Commander in 1953.

Zeke then, began a very distinguished career with Westinghouse Electric Corporation as a pioneer in the field of nuclear power. He worked as a design engineer on the USS Nautilus, the world's first nuclear-powered submarine, then was instrumental in the building of the USS Enterprise, the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. For the Enterprise, he was responsible for building the prototype engineering plant, then installed the ship's eight nuclear reactors, on the first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, in Newport News, VA.

Alexander Philip "Zeke" Zechella, 89, passed away August 15, 2009, after an extended illness. He was a member of the "Greatest Generation" and son of Italian immigrants, Nicholas and Cecelia Rizzi Zechella. He took great pride in being an American and made the most of what this country had to offer.
   
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  Alexander Philip "Zeke" Zechella
   
Date
Aug 15, 2009

Last Updated:
May 23, 2012
   
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ZECHELLA Alexander Philip "Zeke" Zechella, 89, passed away August 15, 2009, after an extended illness. He was a member of the "Greatest Generation" and son of Italian immigrants, Nicholas and Cecelia Rizzi Zechella. He took great pride in being an American and made the most of what this country had to offer. Born Aug 11, 1920 in Newport, KY he worked at odd jobs as a young boy to help his family through the great depression. He excelled in both academics and athletics and was named to the state championship football, basketball and track teams. Graduating, president of his class, from Newport High School in 1938 he then attended the University of Kentucky on a football scholarship for one year. He was then awarded and appointment to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD where he was a member of the football team. Zeke graduated with a degree in engineering in 1943. He married his childhood sweetheart, Jean Millicent Bary on June 24, 1942. He soon was assigned to a destroyer in the north Atlantic during the first part of WWII. He became the officer second in command at the age of 23. He also participated in the Pacific Theater until the end of the war. He and Jean welcomed their first child and only son, Bary Alexander, during these war years. He returned home to his family, remained in the Navy, and earned a Masters degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. While stationed in Long Beach, CA his second child, Pamela Lynn was born. The family then spent two tours of duty in the Aleutian Islands on Adak, Alaska where Zeke was the resident officer in charge of constructing new officers quarters. Before and during construction the family lived in a Quonset Hut, which was quite an adventure! After many moves and tours of duty Zeke resigned from the Navy as a Lt Commander in 1953. Then, began a very distinguished career with Westinghouse Electric Corporation as a pioneer in the field of nuclear power. He worked on the first nuclear powered engines for the US Navy and was instrumental in the construction of the USS Enterprise, the first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, in Newport News, VA. It was during this time that his youngest child, Amy Louise was born. The Zechella's moved to Jacksonville in 1972 and Zeke served as President of Offshore Power Systems and later as President of the Charter Company. After retirement he served on many boards of directors and was a partner in the Environmental Recovery Group of Mayport, FL. Zeke loved the mild climate, surrounding water, and especially the access to wonderful golf that Jacksonville had to offer. He was a founder member of the TPC and walked the golf course when it was under construction, dodging the gators and snakes. He gave back to his beloved community by serving on the TPC Charities board for many years. He was also a driving force for the TPC Village, a residential program for rehabilitation of teens with substance abuse issues. A golf tournament "The Zeke" was played for several years as a fundraiser for the Village. He also helped to form The St. Vincent's Foundation.

   
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