Higginson, John, RADM

Deceased
 
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 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Last Primary NEC
111X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Surface Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1986-1990, Major Commands
Service Years
1956 - 1990
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Rear Admiral Upper Half

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

38 kb

Home State
Missouri
Missouri
Year of Birth
1932
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Higginson, John, RADM.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Born in St. Louis, MO.
Last Address
RAdm. John J. Higginson, known as 'LONG BEACH'S ADMIRAL'; where his community involvement was exemplary.

Date of Passing
Jan 12, 2010
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) US Navy Retired 30


 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback US Navy Honorable Discharge Gulf of Tonkin Yacht Club Order of the Golden Dragon




 Military Association Memberships
California Commandery
  2010, Naval Order of the United States, California Commandery (Member) (California)


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity


VIET-NAM BATTLE STREAMER
 
 
 

 
Rear Admiral John J. Higginson

 

  Community leader Rear Admiral John Higginson (USN-Ret.) passed away on Tuesday, 12 January, 2010. He was 77 years old.

  Higginson had a life devoted to improving his community. He served as the vice president of Long Beach Civic Light Opera and was on the executive boards of Leadership Long Beach and the Boy Scouts of America, Long Beach Council. He was also on the State Industry Education Council of California and was co-chair of the Long Beach Education Foundation.

  In 1993, he and his wife Nancy were presented with the Humanitarian Award by the California Conference for Equality and Justice. He was named 1992 “Man of the Year” in Long Beach by a local philanthropic organization.

  Higginson was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and served in the United States Navy for 34 years. He held seven command positions as a U.S. naval aviator and he is the only naval officer to command two helicopter carriers, the USS Inchon and the USS Tripoli.

  “By sheer circumstance, I was transferred to the ship that was the primary recovery vessel for the Apollo mission. When the president of the United States flies all the way down south of the equator to greet the first guys coming back from the moon … that’s exciting. I saw a lot of that,” Higginson told a Signal-Tribune reporter in April 2008.

  “The first Apollo retrieval I was on involved three guys who had just been in lunar orbit. They came down and had dinner with 40-50 officers in the wardroom.” Higginson participated in the recovery operations for Apollos 8, 11, 12, 13 and 15 before coming to Long Beach as a flag officer.

  His last assignment was as the senior officer in the Long Beach/Los Angeles area, leading 17,000 active Navy personnel and was responsible for 38 ships assigned to Long Beach and San Francisco.

  Higginson spent 15 years as president and chief executive officer of the American Gold Star Manor and Home, a National Charitable Trust, headquartered in Long Beach, Calif.

  “I liked working with the older people; they’re fun. By the time I retired I was older than half of them. You had to be 62 to get in there. It is 25 acres, and it’s just a lovely place done largely by the foresight of the trustees who planned it. I enjoyed it. It was a good spot,” said Higginson.
  “I thought now would be a good time to retire. Besides, my wife keeps asking me when I’m going to clean the garage,” Higginson said in 2008.

  From 1990 to 1992 he served as president of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, a 2,000-member organization, after his Navy retirement.

  He attended St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Tex. and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He also earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, Calif. and a Master of Science degree in 1968 from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

  Higginson was recently presented with the Distinguished Eagle Scout award, becoming only the fourth person in the history of the Long Beach Boy Scout Council to receive this honor by the executive board of the Boy Scouts of America. The presentation was made aboard the Queen Mary in early December at a Long Beach Rotary Club meeting, of which Higginson was a member.

  Higginson has been battling cancer for the past two years and in recent weeks has been in hospice care, resting comfortably at home with his family in attendance. The Higginsons have four sons and seven grandchildren.
   
Other Comments:

Former Rear Admiral John Higginson retires…again

April 10th, 2008

higginson.jpg  After 15 years as the CEO of the national charitable trust American Gold Star Manor and Home, Retired Rear Admiral John Higginson is giving retirement a second chance. In addition to a 34-year naval career, Higginson was also president of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce and has a long history of community involvement.

   “I thought now would be a good time to retire. Besides, my wife keeps asking me when I’m going to clean the garage,” said Higginson.

Not that retirement means Higginson will be slowing down anytime soon. A former environmental science teacher at the United States Naval Academy and the United States Naval War College, he is already considering teaching locally.

   “I’m strongly leaning toward teaching again. I’ve always done part-time teaching. I taught a lot at the naval academy and I co-authored a textbook on oceanography called Sea and Air: The Marine Environment,” said Higginson.

  Higginson is originally from East St. Louis, Illinois. He attended community college in Bellville, Illinois, and then St. Mary’s University in St. Antonio, Texas, where he met his wife.

“She was working in the registrar’s office at St. Mary’s and had the pick of several thousand guys; it was a guy’s only school at the time. And she picked me,” said Higginson. “Now, we’ve been married 50 years. People always ask us how we’ve stayed married so long. And the answer I like to give is we promised.” Today John and Nancy Higginson have four sons and seven grandchildren.

  He was commissioned into the navy in October 1956 and went on to do recovery operations as a helicopter pilot. He was eventually transferred from a squadron to a ship.

  “By sheer circumstance, I was transferred to the ship that was the primary recovery ship for the next Apollo mission. It was exciting. You know, when the president of the United States flies all the way down south of the equator to greet the first guys coming back from the moon, that’s exciting. I saw a lot of that,” said Higginson. “The first one I was on involved three guys that had just been in lunar orbit around the moon. They came down and had dinner with the officers in the wardroom. There were 40 or 50 of us in the wardroom, and here’s these guys who had just been up to the moon.”

   Higginson participated in the recovery operations for Apollos 8, 11, 12, 13 and 15 before coming to Long Beach as a flag officer.

   “I was sent here in ‘86 to make sure that people knew the navy was back in Long Beach. The navy used to be one of the biggest operators in Long Beach and then, after Vietnam, they pared everything back,” said Higginson. “It required me to get out to an enormous number of community organizations. The United Way of Los Angeles, the Federal Executive Board-you name it. As a consequence, I got to know an enormous amount of people in the community.”

   After he retired from the navy in 1990, he did a two-year stint as the president of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce. Then a friend suggested he might enjoy working at the American Gold Star Manor and Home.

“I liked working with the older people; they’re fun. By the time I retired I was older than half of them. You had to be 62 to get in there. It is 25 acres, and it’s just a lovely place done largely by the foresight of the trustees who planned it. I enjoyed it. It was a good spot,” said Higginson.
Higginson will be replaced by former president of the Rotary Club of Long Beach and Gold Star Manor Trustee Terry Geiling.

  “Admiral Higginson used the many leadership skills he developed in the U.S. Navy to effectively manage the American Gold Star Manor. Under his guidance the Manor has prospered and provides a quiet and comfortable home for its senior residents,” said Geiling.

Higginson has also served on the executive boards of both Leadership Long Beach and the Boy Scouts of America Long Beach, was the vice president of the Long Beach Civic Light Opera and is currently a member of the National President Club and the Rotary Club of Long Beach. In 1992 he was named “Man of the Year” in Long Beach, and in 1993 he and his wife Nancy were awarded the Humanitarian Award by the California Conference for Equality and Justice.

   “My wife and I are gregarious people. My wife is just as active in the community as I am. She’s been the president of the Red Cross chapter, the Assistance League, the first female president of the downtown Lion’s Club, library foundation,” said Higginson. “I’m not sure why we’re so active in the community. Maybe we feel some obligation or maybe we like getting to know so many people. It just makes it a real home town for us. We like Long Beach a lot.”

   

 Tributes from Members  
RIP RADM HIGGINSON posted by Martin, Michael (Marty), YNCS -Deceased 
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 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1956, Officer Candidate School (Newport, RI), 10
 Duty Stations
USS Renville (APA-227)US NavySchool Assignments - StaffCOMFIFTHFLT
USS Enterprise (CVN-65)USS Inchon (LPH-12)USS Tripoli (LPH-10)Commander Amphibious Force, US Seventh Fleet
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers in Europe (SHAPE)/Allied Forces Southern Europe (AFSE)COMPHIBGRU 3 (CPG 3)
  1957-1958, USS Renville (APA-227)
  1958-1959, Naval Air Units
  1959-1959, Naval Flight Training
  1965-1970, COMFIFTHFLT/Fifth Amphibious Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet
  1970-1973, Rotary Wing
  1973-1974, USS Enterprise (CVN-65)
  1979-1981, USS Inchon (LPH-12)
  1981-1982, USS Tripoli (LPH-10)
  1981-1983, Commander Amphibious Force, US Seventh Fleet/Administrative Command 7th Amphibious Forces Pacific (ADCOM7THPHIB)
  1983-1984, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers in Europe (SHAPE)/Allied Forces Southern Europe (AFSE)
  1985-1986, COMPHIBGRU 3 (CPG 3)
  1986-1990, Major Commands
 Colleges Attended 
Saint Louis UniversitySt. Mary's UniversityNaval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CAGeorge Washington University
  1952-1954, Saint Louis University
  1954-1956, St. Mary's University
  1958-1960, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA
  1966-1968, George Washington University
 Other News, Events and Photographs
 
  Jul 01, 1973, J. J. Higginson, author
  Jan 12, 2010, LONG BEACH'S ADMIRAL
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