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Rear Admiral Richard M. Ross


Richard Moore Ross was born on May 1, 1904, at Addison, Pennsylvania, and was graduated from high school at Somerset, Pa.  After studying for two years at Washington and Jefferson College, Washington, Pa., he entered the U.S. Coast Guard Academy as a cadet in August 1926.

He was graduated and commissioned an Ensign on May 15, 1929, and subsequently advanced in rank to Lieutenant (jg), May 15, 1931; Lieutenant, May 15, 1933; Lieut. Commander, January 1, 1943; Commander, September 1, 1943; Captain, January 1, 1950; Rear Admiral, May 1, 1958.

During his first assignment he served for three years as gunnery officer aboard the Destroyer Tucker at New London, Conn.  His succeeding early assignments included duty aboard patrol boats stationed at Base 18, Woods hole, Mass., Base 4, at New London, and line duty aboard the Cutter Cayuga where he served first as navigator then (in 1938) was assigned engineering duties.

From July 1939 to October 1940, he served as engineering officer aboard the Cutter Hamilton stationed at Oakland, California.  At the start of war in Europe he transferred with the Hamilton to the Eastern Sea Frontier where the cutter performed Neutrality Patrol and weather patrol duties.  During this time the cutter was stationed at Norfolk, Va.

After serving a year at the Coast Guard Depot at St. George, S.I., New York, he became its commanding officer in September 1941.  Relieved of these duties in July 1943 he was sent to the Pacific theatre of war to serve at Merchant Marine Hearing Units in Australia and New Guinea.

From the Pacific he reported in January 1945 at Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C., where he served in the Aids to Navigation and Program Planning Divisions, respectively.  A reassignment in April 1946 saw him as aids to navigation officer at the Third Coast Guard District office in New York City.

With new orders in March 1948, he took command of the Cutter Mocoma at Miami, Fla., duty which he held until April 1950, when Coast Guard Headquarters received him as its Chief, Aids to Navigation Division.  From August 1954 to June 1956, he served as commanding officer of the Coast Guard Base at Alameda, California.  He then transferred to Boston to become Chief of Staff, First Coast Guard District.

In July 1957, he was reassigned to Coast Guard Headquarters as Assistant Chief, Office of Personnel.  Three months after being nominated for the rank of flag officer, he became Chief, Office of Personnel on April 5, 1958, with collateral duty of flag officer in charge of the Coast Guard Reserve.  He took the oath of Rear Admiral on May 1, 1958.  In February 1960, he became Commander, 14th Coast Guard District, with office in Honolulu.  Two years later he was designated Commander, Third Coast Guard District, and Commander, Eastern Area effective in April 1962.  The offices are in New York City.  He held that post until his retirement on July 1, 1964.

RADM Ross received the Coast Guard Commendation Medal for meritorious achievement in the performance of his duties as Commander, Eastern Area, and Commander, Third Coast Guard District.  He was cited for distinguishing himself by his understanding of seafaring problems, his close supervision of the Atlantic Merchant Vessel Report (AMVER) System, and his planning and control of Coast Guard operations in the areas encompassing the First, Second, Third, Fifth, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Districts.  He was also cited for successfully meeting the increased demands for Search and Rescue facilities in his position as Atlantic Maritime Search and Rescue Coordinator.

Rear Admiral Ross’s World War II campaign and service ribbons include: American Defense Service, American Area, Asiatic-Pacific Area, World War II Victory.  He also has the National Defense Service Ribbon covering the Korean War period.

Rear Admiral Ross is married to the former Arvilla P. of Portland, Maine.  They have one son Richard P., who lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and one daughter, Cynthia P., who is married to Lieutenant (jg) William R. Burmeister, USCG.

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