- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Francis O’Connor, 77, retired Navy captain

Francis E. O’Connor Jr., a retired Navy captain, died Oct. 27 of complications from pneumonia in Arlington. He was 77.

Born June 27, 1927, in Waterbury, Conn., he graduated from Crosby High School in 1945. He was accepted at the U.S. Naval Academy a year later and graduated in 1950.

He received a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1957 and a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1958.

Capt. O’Connor later graduated from the Armed Forces Staff College and the U.S. Army War College.

After completing flight training, Capt. O’Connor served in fighter and attack squadrons and assumed command of Attack Squadron 95 in 1966. During that tour, he flew 124 combat missions over Vietnam.

On subsequent aviation tours, he was commander of Attack Air Wing 10 at Cecil Field, Fla., and commander of Training Air Wing Two at the Naval Air Station in Kingsville, Texas.

His shore assignments included duty with the Joint Staff in the Pentagon, as deputy director of the Aviation Manpower and Training Division on the staff of the chief of naval operations.

Capt. O’Connor’s last shore tour was as special assistant to the deputy chief of naval personnel.

Capt. O’Connor retired from the Navy in 1978. Among his medals and decorations were the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, 11 Air Medals and the Joint Service Commendation Medal.

After retiring from the Navy, he worked for a professional service firm, Information Spectrum Inc., from which he retired in 1993.

He was a member of the Boy Scouts of America from 1939 to 1945 and earned his Eagle Scout designation in 1943. He was awarded the first Ad Altare Dei medal, an award for Catholic Scouts, in Connecticut.

He is survived by sons Francis E. O’Connor III of Gorham, Maine, Sean O’Connor of Vienna, Va., and Kevin O’Connor of Chantilly; daughters Kristen Paige of Sterling, Va., and Melissa O’Connor of Alexandria; brother Robert O’Connor of Waterbury, Conn.; sisters Elizabeth Lesnikoski, Kathleen Trota, Eleanor O’Conner and Rosemary Lawlor, all of Waterbury; six grandchildren; and his companion of 20 years, Sally Fecteau of Falls Church.

Services will be held at the Fort Myer Old Post Chapel at 10:45 a.m. on Dec. 30, followed by burial with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.

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