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Rear Admiral Michael J. Ryan


Rear Admiral Michael J. Ryan, 68, United States Coast Guard (Retired), died early today while attending Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Bethesda, Md.  Graveside services with full military honors will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, March 2, at Arlington National Cemetery, following 8:20 a.m. Requiem Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Church.

Born May 21, 1884, at North Bellingham, Mass., Admiral Ryan was reared in Denver, Colo., and attended the University of Colorado before entering the U.S. Coast Guard as a cadet in 1906.  He was commissioned Ensign in 1908, and progressed in rank until his retirement from the service on 1 August 1946 as Rear Admiral.  He served in both World Wars.

His first assignment was aboard the Cutter Seneca, following which he was transferred to the Cutter Manning in May 1909, to serve for the next three years in Alaskan waters.  He then was named Supervisor of Anchorages in the Chicago district, and later served aboard the Cutters Itasca, Mohawk, Morrill, Seminole, and Albany.

During World War I he served temporarily on the Receiving Ship in New York City, and then was designated Aide on the staff of the American Convoy Officer of the Port of New York.  In 1918-19 he was navigation officer and then executive officer of the Pocahontas, and spent the next two years on duty at the Coast Guard Academy, New London, Conn.  He assumed command of the Manahattan in October 1921, and successively commended the Destroyers Patterson and Wilkes.  His next assignment was to the staff of the Commander, Destroyer Force, as gunnery officer and then as Chief of Staff.

In July 1931 he assumed command of the Cutter Haida on Alaska patrol, serving also as U.S. Commissioner, Third Judicial Division, District of Alaska, during the season of 1932.  From September 1934 to October 1935, he was assigned to Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C., as a member of the Planning Board and Chief, Communications Section.  He also served as a member of the Board on Lifesaving Appliances.  Next assigned to the 13th District, Seattle, Wash., as Chief of Staff, he performed temporary duty as commanding officer of the Cutter Ingham during the 1937 Bering Sea Patrol, and again served as U.S. Commissioner in Alaska.  He represented the Department of the Treasury at the Alaskan Communications Conference at Juneau in August of that year.

Transferred in 1939 to Ketchikan, Alaska, as Commander of the 17th District, he served in that capacity until reassigned to Headquarters in August 1940, where he became a member of the Permanent Board, the Examining Board for St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, and president of the Coast Guard Enlisted Personnel Retirement Board.

In 1941 he was given command of the Jacksonville and Charleston Districts, later being designated Captain of the Port of Charleston, S.C., and District Coast Guard Officer.  He was serving in the latter capacity at the time of his retirement in 1945.

Survivors include his widow, the former Marie Virginia B.; three daughters, Mrs. Mary N. Greeley of Portland, Oregon (wife of Captain Quentin McK. Greeley, USCG, Captain of the Port in that city); Mrs. Virginia B. Wigglesworth, Bethesda, Md.; Mrs. Ann T. Russell, Alexandria, Va.; one son, John Michael Ryan, Washington D.C., and 15 grandchildren.

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