Lemuel O. Warfield

A naval fighter pilot who flew over the first hydrogen bomb detonation, he later worked for Amoco Oil and enjoyed golf.

November 24, 2008|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

Lemuel O. Warfield, a former naval fighter pilot and reservist who later became an oil company manager, died Nov. 15 at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center from complications of a fall he suffered at his Annapolis home. He was 80.

Mr. Warfield was born in Baltimore and raised in Towson. After graduating from Polytechnic Institute in 1945, he enlisted in the Navy. He was designated a naval aviator in 1948 and commissioned an ensign. He was assigned to Fighting Squadron 23 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea in the Pacific Theater.

Released from active duty in 1950, he was reactivated a year later during the Korean conflict. He flew F-4 Corsairs, fighter planes, with the VC-3, an all-weather and night fighter squadron.

Mr. Warfield was decorated with the Air Medal for action against the enemy for numerous night interdiction missions over North Korea.

He was also a member of a VC-3 detachment that flew air cover over the small island of Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands, when the first hydrogen bomb was detonated on Nov. 1, 1952.

After leaving the Navy in 1953, he earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Loyola College in 1954. He remained active in the Naval Reserve until being discharged with the rank of rear admiral in 1988.

Mr. Warfield worked as a district manager for the Amoco Oil Co. for 40 years before retiring in 1991.

Mr. Warfield was an avid golfer and enjoyed working in his yard.

Services were Thursday.

Surviving are his wife of 53 years, the former Dorothy Lee Davis; a son, John D. Warfield of Annapolis; a daughter, Dawn Lee Warfield of Baltimore; and a brother, Warren Lee Warfield of Bel Air.

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