Valery Havard Jr., 91, was rear admiral and consultant

July 22, 1996|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Rear Adm. Valery Havard Jr., a retired career naval officer and consultant, died of pneumonia July 11 at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He was 91 and lived at Broadmead Retirement Community in Cockeysville.

Born at Fort Jay on Governors Island off the southern tip of Manhattan, where his father was an Army physician, he was reared in Fairfield, Conn. In 1921, he graduated from Columbia Preparatory School in Washington and was appointed to the Naval Academy, graduating in 1926.

On Dec. 7, 1941, when Pearl Harbor was bombed, resulting in the U.S. entry into World War II, he was serving aboard the destroyer USS Babbitt near Iceland, escorting a convoy to England. In 1943, he took command of the destroyer USS Lansdale and continued escorting convoys through the treacherous U-boat-infested waters of the North Atlantic.

After the war, he was chief staff officer for fleet training in Cuba and was assigned to the Pentagon. He retired in 1954 and became a consultant to the Glenn L. Martin Co., Raytheon and Arthur D. Little in Cambridge, Mass.

Admiral Havard, who returned to Baltimore in the early 1960s and settled in Guilford, was personnel officer for Hoen & Co., the Baltimore lithography and printing company, from 1967 to 1971.

"If ever a midshipman applied the pledge not to 'lie, cheat or steal' as a lifetime value, Val Havard did. This added to his stature as a parent, grandfather and citizen-at-large," said his neighbor and friend, Richard Franklin.

According to his daughter, Anne H. Litchfield of Lake Forest, Ill., Admiral Havard was progressive on racial and gender issues.

During World War II, "blacks serving on naval vessels were only wardroom stewards, and he thought this was unfair," she said. "He was sensitive to the fact that they felt they weren't a real part of the ship or war effort, and had them trained to take over gunnery positions on the vessel and they successfully shot down several German aircraft."

"He supported the idea that women should have equal opportunity and be able to attend the academies," Mrs. Litchfield said.

Admiral Havard was a volunteer with the Baltimore Commission on Aging and an adviser to Maryland's congressional delegation on candidates for the service academies.

He was a member of the Tuscany-Canterbury Neighborhood Association and the Catholic Community of St. Francis in Hunt Valley.

In 1932, he married Anna Burgess, who died in 1980.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 12: 45 p.m. July 30 at Fort Myer (Va.) Chapel followed by burial with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

Other survivors include a son, Valery Havard III of Annapolis; six grandchildren; and six great- grandchildren.

Pub Date: 7/22/96

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