Vernon LeRoy Winchester, WWII submariner

January 10, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

Vernon LeRoy Winchester, a retired Montgomery Ward traffic manager and World War II submariner, died Tuesday in his sleep at his Waynesville, N.C., home. He was 83.

Born and raised in Baltimore, Mr. Winchester enlisted in the Navy in 1942 after graduating from Polytechnic Institute.

After completing training at the Naval Training Center in Bainbridge, he was assigned as an electrician's mate aboard S-Class submarines in the Pacific Theater.

At war's end, he returned to Baltimore and worked at Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. and Beechnut Co. While working, he attended the University of Baltimore, where he earned a bachelor's degree in transportation management.

In the early 1950s, he went to work at the old Montgomery Ward facility on Washington Boulevard, where he coordinated rail and truck shipments of merchandise to the company's East Coast stores and regional catalog warehouses.

In 1956, he was assigned to the company's catalog warehouse in Albany, N.Y., where he worked until returning to the Baltimore facility in 1968. He retired in 1987.

Mr. Winchester, who moved from Catonsville to Waynesville in 1992, had been an active member and past president of the Traffic Club of Baltimore. He was a member of the United Methodist Church in Waynesville.

He was an active member of the U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II and was an avid reader of naval history.

At his request, no services were held.

"There is a program available through the U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II and the Navy, and it was his wish that his remains be buried at sea," said a son, Robert Vernon Winchester of Odenton.

Also surviving are his wife of 24 years, the former Betty L. Anderson; another son, Richard Lee Winchester of Salisbury; two stepdaughters, Judith Ann Englestad of Elkridge and Sharon Elizabeth Hastings of Waynesville; and four grandchildren. An earlier marriage to the former Rosemary Bentz ended in divorce.

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