Coronado’s “Avenue of Heroes” … Capt. James F Kelly, Jr., USN | News from the city of Coronado

Born in 1930 in New Haven, Connecticut, James F. “Jim” Kelly had a naval career rich in history, combining years of service at sea, many of which were in command and in combat, with studies at top naval establishments. The country’s higher education and key land tickets, including service on the CINCPACFLT and CNO staffs. He was and remains a master sailor, combat veteran, brilliant leader and renowned author.

After graduating from Southern Connecticut University and the Officer Candidate School, Kelly was appointed a full professor in 1953 and served on aircraft carriers and destroyers in the Atlantic Fleet before becoming an executive officer on board. of USS Westchester County.

As the conflict in Vietnam accelerated, CAPT Kelly served afloat as the Commander Destroyer Squadron Chief of Staff. After earning a master’s degree in management from the Naval Postgraduate School, he returned to sea in 1966 as the general manager of the USS Gridley, completing two more combat deployments.

After the Army War College, CAPT Kelly commanded the USS Parsons, conducting shelling operations ashore off Vietnam. Selected for Primary Command, he reported to USS Fox, deploying to both WESTPAC and the Middle East Force as the Middle East Forces Commander, flagship. He then served as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Fleet Pacific, where he was instrumental in integrating women into U.S. Fleet ships from the Peaceful. CAPT Kelly then took command of the USS Dixie and later the Naval Personnel Research and Development Center.

CAPT Kelly’s highest military decorations include the Legion of Merit (2 awards) and Bronze Star with Combat V. After retiring from active service in 1983, Kelly received a Doctorate in Education from the University. from San Diego; was senior vice president at Great American Bank; and taught ship handling, seamanship and navigation at Naval Station San Diego.

Kelly was foreman of the San Diego County Grand Jury, Chairman of the San Diego Navy League Council, and President of the San Diego Lions Club. He is a frequent contributor to Naval Institute Proceedings and other publications. His weekly column has appeared in the Coronado Eagle & Journal for 20 years. Kelly and his 65-year-old wife Charlane are longtime residents of Coronado with three children and three grandchildren.