Norman W. Gill Navy captain

November 18, 1990

A memorial service for retired Navy Capt. Norman William "Pat" Gill will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis.

Captain Gill died of cancer Thursday at his Arnold home. He was 78.

Captain Gill was born in St. Elmo, Va., and moved at an early age to Washington. There he graduated from Eastern High School and received a bachelor of science degree from Wilson Teachers College. He earned postgraduate credits at the University of Maryland.

Before entering the Navy he taught at and was athletic director at prep schools in the Washington area.

He attended Northwestern University Midshipmen School, graduating in 1943 as an ensign.

During World War II Captain Gill served aboard the USS Coolbaugh in the Pacific from September 1943 until the battle of Okinawa. The Coolbaugh saw action at Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima and off the coast of Samar. It also served as a screen for small carriers that were protecting U.S. forces from kamikaze and naval attacks in the San Bernardino Straits.

After the war Captain Gill served as assistant chief of staff and fleet communications officer on the staff of the commander of the 6th Fleet, deployed on three heavy cruisers, the Salem, the Des Moines and the Newport News, from 1953 to 1955.

Other ships on which he served were the USS Glynn and the USS Olmsted, and he was executive officer aboard the USS Vermilion. His last sea tour, 1960 to 1962, was as commanding officer aboard the USS Rehoboth.

From 1962 to 1965 he served as fleet communications officer on the staff of the commander-in-chief of the Pacific Fleet.

He was then selected for duty in the office of the deputy secretary of defense. He ended his career as inspector general of the Naval Communications System.

He retired in 1971 after 29 years of service.

Among the medals he earned were the Legion of Merit and the Navy Commendation Medal. He was decorated by the commander of Eastern Seas Frontier for superior performance of duty in Naval Station Puerto Rico and received numerous letters of commendation.

After his retirement, Captain Gill was made a charter member of the Virginia Naval Museum Authority in 1975.

Until several months ago, Captain Gill ran six miles a day and participated in numerous local 10,000-meter races. He was an avid supporter of athletics at the Naval Academy and was a sponsor to numerous midshipmen.

Captain Gill is survived by his wife, the former Mary Ann Passon, whom he married in 1967; two sons, retired Lt. Col. Norman W. Gill Jr. of Fort Bragg, N.C., and Lt. Patrick C. Gill, operations operator and navigator aboard the USS Pittsburgh; a sister, Marie Rawlings of Capitol Heights; and two grandchildren.

Captain Gill will be buried Tuesday with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. The family suggested donations to the American Cancer Society or the Arundel Hospice Inc., 403 Headquarters Dr., Suite 1, Millersville 21108.

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