Coronado’s “Avenue Of The Heroes” ... RADM David G. Ramsey, USN - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado City News

Coronado’s “Avenue Of The Heroes” ... RADM David G. Ramsey, USN

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Posted: Friday, December 27, 2019 11:44 am | Updated: 11:53 am, Fri Dec 27, 2019.

Born and raised on a farm in Penhook, Virginia, David Goggin Ramsey saw his first naval vessel docked in Norfolk and fell in love with ships. Graduating from high school at fifteen, he began hauling cordwood, but his passion for ships led him and a close friend to enlist in the Navy. His father disapproved, believing he was throwing his life away on a dream. From that, a gauntlet had been thrown down.

A week later Ramsey was disallowed to “join up” due to underage. He subsequently enrolled in Lynchburg College and, upon turning seventeen, again enlisted in the Navy. Invited to join the “V6 Program,” Ramsey, unfamiliar with the program, inquired about its merits. The answer: the program would allow him to complete his education, earn a little money, eat good chow, and become an officer in the Navy. He immediately agreed.

Still opposed to his son joining the navy, Ramsey’s father opined that he would be lucky to make Chief. History was to prove just how much a father underestimated his son’s true character.

Commissioned an Ensign in June 1951, his junior officer experience included service in destroyers and amphibious ships in both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets. During these years he served in the Gunnery, Engineering, and Operations Departments. While on sea duty, Ramsey was informed that if he attended post graduate school and graduated in the top 10 percent, he could receive orders as Assistance Naval Attaché in Hong Kong. Decision made and excelling in graduate school, Ramsey subsequently became the Assistant Naval Attaché.

He then served as Executive Officer USS Brush (DD-745) before assuming command of USS Preston (DD-795) in 1967. Under his command, Preston completed two combat deployments and saved numerous Vietnamese and Southeast Asian war refugees. Following service as Plans Officer for the Chief of Naval Operations in the Pentagon, Ramsey became Assistant Chief of Staff for UN Command/US Forces Korea.

Returning to sea, he advanced from Commanding Officer of USS Vancouver (LPD-2) to Commodore Amphibious Squadron Five/Three, and upon promotion to Rear Admiral in 1979, command of Amphibious Group Eastern Pacific. This was followed by assignment as Defense Attaché, Beijing, China.

Ramsey culminated his career as Deputy Commander, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet. His awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and Navy Commendation Medal, the latter two with Combat “V.”

Upon retiring in 1989, Ramsey founded Marine Safety International San Diego, taught ship handling for 17 years, and volunteered to provide transitional housing for San Diego’s homeless population. Ramsey and his wife of 66 years, Nancy, have two children—Lynne and Richmond, four grandchildren, and one great grandson. Lynne, a graduate of the Julliard School of music, is presently First Assistant Principal Violist with The Cleveland Orchestra. Richmond graduated from UCLA engineering and is currently Vice President of Portfolio Strategy for Siemens.

People were always the Admiral’s first priority—a mindset underpinning his success as a naval officer and in everyday life.

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