Notable People

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Rear Admiral John L. Linnon



Commander, First Coast Guard District and;
Commander, Maritime Defense Command One

[In his final active-duty assignment prior to retiring] Rear Admiral John J. Linnon oversaw Coast Guard missions of search and rescue, law enforcement, commercial vessel certification and safety, and maritime pollution response from Canada to Tom’s River, NJ. He was also Commander, U. S.  Navy Maritime Defense Command One, with responsibility for the security of all First District ports and harbors, and the corresponding coastline out to 200 nautical miles. He also served as the Department of Transportation Regional Emergency Transportation Coordinator for Regions 1 and 2.

Rear Admiral Linnon, a native of Hartford, CT, was commissioned in 1961 through the Officer’s Candidate School (OCS) program, after several years of enlisted service. While an enlisted man, he saw service on the ocean station vessel MACKINAC, lifeboat station Fisher’s Island, NY, and the polar icebreaker WESTWIND. He attained the rate of first class radarman before being selected to attend OCS.

Since commissioning, he has served on five ships, commanding the seagoing buoy tender PLANETREE, the medium-endurance cutter DURABLE, and the Honolulu-based, high-endurance cutter MUNRO. While commanding MUNRO, he participated in the two-month underwater search for the wreckage of Korean Airlines (KAL) Flight 007, which had been shot down by the Soviet Union over the Sea of Japan. Assignments ashore have included chief of the Officer Candidate School Branch at Reserve Training Center Yorktown, and the first Coast Guard liaison officer to the Organization to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Assistant chief of staff for operations for Commander, Atlantic Area in New York City, and collaterally as the deputy regional coordinator for the Northeast Region, National Narcotics Border Interdiction System. Prior to his promotion to flag rank, he served as chief of staff, of the Seventh Coast Guard District, Miami, FL. He is a distinguished graduate of the Naval War College Command and General Staff Course.

His last assignment [prior to taking over the First Coast Guard District] was as Commander, Joint Task Force Five, the U.S. Pacific Command Center coordinating Department of Defense support to the nation’s counter-drug efforts.

His awards include two Defense Superior Service Medals, the Legion of Merit, three Meritorious Service Medals, and five Coast Guard Commendation Medals.

Rear Admiral Linnon retired in 1997, after a thirty-six year career in the Coast Guard. He passed away on 15 June 2020.

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