CDR William Rennie (Ret), a native of Pittston, Pennsylvania, enlisted in the U.S. Navy, from July 1949 to October 1949. He was then selected for the Merchant Marine Academy, from which he graduated September 1953. Upon graduating, Rennie was commissioned as an ensign in the United States Naval Reserve.
Rennie was called to active duty and sent to Pensacola, Florida, for flight training September 1953 and was designated as a Naval Aviator in November 1954. Rennie then reported to Miramar Naval Air Station, San Diego, and deployed to the Western Pacific aboard USS Shangri-La. In July 1956, he joined Attack Squadron VA-26 on Naval Air Station Moffett Field. During his time there, the squadron received the Naval Air Weapons Meet 1957 Kane Trophy as the Championship Air-to-Ground Team in the U.S. Navy. Rennie was awarded the Herman Trophy as the Individual Air-to-Ground Champion flying the F9F8 Cougar Jet. He then participated in another Western Pacific deployment, aboard USS Kearsarge.
From 1958-1959, Rennie was a flight instructor at Naval Air Station Memphis. In 1960, he served as No. 6 and No. 3 on the Blue Angels, the Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron. After departing from the Blue Angels, he was chosen to be the Aide to the Deputy Commander-In-Chief Pacific Fleet in Honolulu, Hawaii. During the Vietnam War, from 1963 to 1971, Rennie was assigned to USS Bonhomme Richard, USS Hancock, USS Shangri-La and USS Ranger as a flight pilot flying F8E Crusader Jet Aircraft.
During his time in service, Rennie was the executive officer of Fighter Squadron VF-111, “The Sundowners” between 1969 to 1970 and later became commanding officer, 1970 to 1971. CDR Rennie then became the operations officer aboard USS Ranger from 1971 to 1972.
Throughout his years of service, CDR Rennie was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross, a Bronze Star, 20 Air Medals and three Navy Commendation Medals.
CDR Rennie retired from active duty in 1973, with over 4,800 flight hours throughout his time in service. As a civilian, he continued to fly various helicopters and planes, both single and multi-engine.
In 1976, CDR Rennie founded a company, Sun and Sea Properties, Inc., where he syndicated and managed apartment and commercial office buildings. The Corporation is still in existence today.
On April 19, 2005, CDR Rennie (Ret), passed away at his home in Coronado surrounded by family.