Howard Greer Obituary
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In Memory of

Howard E. Greer

May 1, 1921 - November 22, 2015
Obituary

VICE ADMIRAL HOWARD E. GREER, USN (RET) MAY 1, 1921 – NOVEMBER 22, 2015 Howard Earl Greer, Vice Admiral, USN (RET) died November 22, 2015 in Coral Gables, Florida. 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...

VICE ADMIRAL HOWARD E. GREER, USN (RET) MAY 1, 1921 – NOVEMBER 22, 2015



Howard Earl Greer, Vice Admiral, USN (RET) died November 22, 2015 in Coral Gables, Florida. 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, Calif. 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 1986. 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.



Services will be held at the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel at 10 a.m. December 22, 2015 with graveside burial



immediately following. In lieu of flowers, VADM Greer’s family suggests donations be made in his name to Wounded Warriors.



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