Anthony Francis Fugaro was born on November 4, 1927 in New York City. Upon graduating from Bishop Loughlin High School in June, 1945, he entered the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT. Graduating on June 3, 1949, he received a BS in Marine Engineering and was commissioned as a Coast Guard Ensign.
His first assignment was USCGC CASCO in Boston, MA on Ocean Station Patrol. In 1951, he was assigned as Executive Officer on buoy tender, USCGC BRAMBLE in San Juan, PR. In 1953, he was Executive Officer on buoy tender USCGC CONIFER, Morehead City NC.
From July 1954 to May 1956, he commanded Ship Training Detachment No. 1, responsible for training Coast Guard cutters from North Carolina to Maine. In June, 1956, he became Captain of the Port, Jacksonville, FL.
In 1958, he was assigned as Hull Inspector and Investigating Officer at Marine Inspection Office, New Orleans. In May, 1960 he was transferred to London, England as Merchant Marine Detail Officer, London. While at that post he also acted as Advisor to the US Delegation to International Whaling Conference during the years 1960 to 1963.
In July 1963, he assumed command of USCGC WOODBINE at Grand Haven, MI, servicing aids to navigation and providing icebreaking assistance on Lake Michigan. Beginning in June, 1965 he served for four years as Administrative Aide (now called Executive Assistant) to the Commandant of the Coast Guard in Washington DC. For meritorious service in that post he was awarded the Coast Guard Commendation Medal.
From August, 1969 to September 1971, he commanded Marine Safety Office, Tampa, FL. While there, he was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of second Coast Guard Commendation Medal and a Unit Commendation. He was cited for meritorious service as On-Scene Commander for the large oil spill caused by grounding of M/T DELIAN APPOLLON in Tampa Bay in February, 1970. CAPT Fugaro was credited with averting a greater environmental disaster through coordination of local, county, state and federal efforts to control this massive spill and the successful ensuing clean up.
From 1971-1972 he was Group Commander at Sault Ste Marie, MI. He received a Letter of Commendation from CCGD9 for performance as Task Group Commander for Operation Taconite during the 1971-72 winter navigation season, involving assistance to more than 300 vessels. This operation was the primary Coast Guard effort in support of the Congressionally-authorized program to extend the navigation season on the Great Lakes.
From 1972-73, he attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF) in Washington, DC. He was designated a Distinguished Graduate and also earned a Masters in Administration from George Washington University.
In August, 1973, he returned to USCG HQ as Chief of Planning in Office of Merchant Marine Safety. In 1974, he became Deputy Chief, Office of Boating Safety, where he was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of a Third Coast Guard Commendation Medal. In July 1975, he was designated Deputy Chief of Staff of the Coast Guard and for outstanding performance he was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal.
In January, 1976, he was selected for promotion to the rank of Rear Admiral, effective July 1, 1976. From 1976 to 1978, he was Chief, Office of Marine Environment and Systems (G-W). He then was assigned as Commander, Ninth Coast Guard District in Cleveland, OH and was awarded a Legion of Merit for his exemplary service. He retired from the Coast Guard in April, 1981.
He remained in Cleveland, where he took the position of Executive Vice President of Great Lakes Towing Company, responsible for towing services throughout the Great Lakes. In 1986, he became Executive Director of Cleveland Port Authority. In 1994, his final year, the Port Authority funded and built the national Rock and Roll Museum, Cleveland’s leading tourist attraction.
While at the Port Authority, he was appointed to the Coast Guard’s Navigation and Vessel Safety Advisory Council (NAVSAC). From 1994-98, he served as Chairman of the Council. He was awarded the Coast Guard Meritorious Public Service Medal for his leadership of NAVSAC.
In 1995, he was elected as Chairman, Great Lakes Historical Society and held this position until 2005. He remains a Trustee Emeritus of the Society.
Following is a resume of RADM Fugaro’s appointments with dates of rank: Cadet, July 17 1945; Ensign, June 3, 1949; Lieutenant(jg) September 27, 1951; Lieutenant, April 1, 1955; Lieutenant Commander, August 12, 1960; Commander, July 1, 1965; Captain, June 11, 1971; Rear Admiral, July 1, 1976.
RADM Fugaro’s medal and ribbon awards include the following: World War II Victory; National Defense Service; Expert Pistol Shot; Coast Guard Commendation Medal (1969); Gold Star in lieu of Second Coast Guard Commendation Medal (1970);Unit Commendation Ribbon (1970); Gold Star in lieu of Third Coast Guard Commendation Medal (1975); Meritorious Service Medal (1976); Legion of Merit (1981); Coast Guard Meritorious Public Service Medal (1998).
RADM Fugaro’s wife is the former Marcia Jeanette Trawick of Eufaula, AL. They reside in Rocky River, OH, where he is active in community affairs and The Cleveland Rotary Club.
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