Coronado’s “Avenue Of The Heroes” ... VAdm Paul D. Stroop, U. S. Navy (ret) - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado City News

Coronado’s “Avenue Of The Heroes” ... VAdm Paul D. Stroop, U. S. Navy (ret)

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Posted: Thursday, January 16, 2020 10:05 am

Paul “P.D.” Stroop was born in Zanesville, Ohio on Oct. 30, 1904 and moved to Mobile, Alabama with his mother and father in his early youth. He earned an appointment to the Naval Academy with the Class of 1926 where he excelled academically, graduating 20 out of 456 and athletically as a gymnast earning All American honors and membership in the Naval Academy Athletic Hall of Fame.

Commissioned in June, 1926, Stroop, an ensign, served on board USS Arkansas before earning his wings as a naval aviator in 1929. He flew with numerous squadrons in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets, and was serving with Carrier Division One, embarked on U.S.S. Saratoga in Coronado on Dec. 7, 1941. He deployed immediately to the South Pacific spending the next two years at war in the South Pacific. He was on board U.S.S. Lexington when she was sunk by the Japanese during the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942. In 1943 he assumed his first command, U.S.S. Mackinac, a seaplane tender operating in the Pacific. A tour in Washington followed next, where he was promoted to captain and accompanied Admiral E.J. King to the Quebec, Yalta, and Potsdam conferences.

In August 1951, Stroop assumed command of the San Diego based carrier U.S.S. Princeton (CV-37) and was her skipper for the next thirteen months. The ship and air wing excelled in wartime operations in the Sea of Japan, and the crew demonstrated a tremendous humanitarian side by selecting a young, underprivileged, disabled girl, Jane Taylor, to be their homecoming queen upon return from their eight month deployment to the Western Pacific. The crew presented Jane with a check for $12,000 which was the crew’s homecoming gift to the disabled children of San Diego. Stroop was serving as Commanding Officer of the Naval Ordnance Test Station in China Lake when he was selected for promotion to Rear Admiral.

Flag officer assignments included senior Navy member of the Weapons Systems Evaluation Group, Deputy Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance, and Commander Taiwan Patrol Force/Commander Fleet Air Wing One/CTF 72 headquartered in Okinawa, Japan. Stroop returned to Washington in March 1958 to assume duties as Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance, and in September 1959 he became the first Chief of the Bureau of Naval Weapons, created by combining the Bureaus of Ordnance and Aeronautics. In September 1962, he was selected for promotion to Vice Admiral and assigned as Commander Naval Air Force, Pacific Fleet headquartered at Naval Air Station North Island.

Upon retirement from 39 years of active duty, Stroop settled in San Diego working as a consultant to the President of Ryan Aeronautical/Teledyne Ryan. Additionally, he served on numerous government advisory committees chiefly in the areas of research and development. He was a life member of the Naval Academy Alumni Association and served on their Board of Trustees for thirty years in numerous capacities including Coronado Chapter Representative and National President.

Stroop was married to the former Esther Holscher of Baltimore, Maryland from Dec. 18, 1926 until her death May 23, 1982. They had four children. He lived with his second wife, Kathleen (Kay) Roeder Stroop in the Coronado Shores until his death May 17, 1995. Stroop and Esther are buried at Rosecrans National Cemetery in Point Loma.

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