REUNION June 10, 2023
Commander Douglass was appointed to the United States Naval Academy from Ohio in 1983 and graduated with distinction in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Engineering.
While at the Naval Academy, he was selected for post-graduate studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and earned a Master of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering prior to commencing the naval nuclear power pipeline in February 1989.
He reported to USS JAMES K. POLK (SSBN-645B) in Charleston, South Carolina in June 1990. While onboard POLK, he completed two strategic deterrent patrols from Holy Loch, Scotland, strategic offload, Special Forces operations and shipyard conversion to a SEAL delivery platform. He held various divisions and served as Assistant Engineer prior to his departure.
In 1993, Commander Douglass reported to Naval Submarine School where he qualified cruise missile instructor. Following reorganization, he served as the Submarine Officer Advanced Course (SOAC) Training Program Manager. While temporarily assigned to Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group Twelve, he served as Submarine Liaison Officer to the embarked Joint Task Force Commander onboard USS WASP (LHD-1) executing “Operation Support Democracy” during the Cuban/Haitian exodus and crisis in the summer of 1994.
Commander Douglass relieved as Navigator/Operations Officer onboard USS PITTSBURGH (SSN-720) and served there from 1995-1998 steaming nearly 100,000 nautical miles off of 5 continents. PITTSBURGH conducted several missions of vital interest to the United States in the Eastern Pacific, Mediterranean and Arabian Gulf as well as executing a Battlegroup deployment with USS ENTERPRISE (CVN-65) in 1996. PITTSBURGH earned the Green “C” for communications excellence in 1996 and a Silver Anchor for Crew Excellence in 1997.
In 1998, Commander Douglass reported to the Director, Submarine Warfare Division (OPNAV-N87), Pentagon, Washington, DC and served as a requirements officer in the Submarine Modernization Branch (N872) for Periscope, Navigation, Radar and ESM issues.
In 2000, Commander Douglass reported to USS LOUISIANA (SSBN-743G) in Kings Bay, Georgia as Executive Officer and completed three strategic deterrent patrols, Battlegroup operations and the test firing of 4 Trident, D-5 missiles. LOUISIANA won the Squadron 16 Battle Efficiency “E” in 2002 and was an Omaha Trophy, Battenberg Cup and Arleigh Burke competition candidate.
Reporting to the staff of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, London, England in 2002, he served as the Submarine Operations Officer and then Current Operations Officer supporting “Operation Iraqi Freedom” and “Operation Enduring Freedom” from the European Command area of responsibility.
Commander Douglass relieved as Commanding Officer, USS ALBUQUERQUE (SSN-706) in June 2005. ALBUQUERQUE conducted deployments to the Arabian Gulf with the IWO JIMA (LHD-7) Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) in 2006 and a surge deployment to the Southern Command in 2007 steaming nearly 80,000 nautical miles off of 5 continents. During these deployments, ALBUQUERQUE conducted three missions vital to national security and earned a Meritorious Unit Commendation for her unique accomplishments. ALBUQUERQUE was the #1 submarine in the Atlantic Fleet of over 40 submarine crews in 2006 as the Submarine Force nominee for the prestigious Battenberg Cup. ALBUQUERQUE was the top ship in Submarine Squadron Two in 2006 receiving the Battle Efficiency “E”, the Tactical “T” for tactical excellence in 2005 and 2006 and the Engineering “E” in 2005 for engineering excellence. Commander Douglass was selected for CAPTAIN in 2007 and retired after completion of his tour as Commanding Officer USS ALBUQUERQUE in October 2007.
Commander Douglass is entitled to wear Gold Submarine Dolphins, the Command at Sea pin, the strategic deterrent patrol pin, the Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), the Navy Commendation Medal (six awards) and various other personal and unit awards.
NOV 42 - JUN 43 USN RESERVE STUDENT
JUN 43 - JUN 46 USNA - CLASS OF 1947 STUDENT
6 JUN 46 USN COMMISSIONED ENSIGN
JUN 46 - JUL 47 NAS JACKSONVILLE, FL STUDENT
JUL 47 - JUN 48 USS ROGERS (DDR-876) OPR, COMM, CIC, FDO, ASW
JUL 48 - DEC 48 SUBMARINE SCHOOL STUDENT
JAN 49 - JAN 52 USS BESUGO (SS-321) GUN, S&C, COMM, CIC, ENG, ELECT.
JAN 52 – JUN 53 USS ARCHERFISH (SS-311) OPR, COMM, ENG, NAV
JUN 53 – JUN 55 USNA INSTRUCTOR
JUN 55 – JUL 56 USS TIGRONE (AGSS-419) NAV, OPS
JUL 56 – NOV 57 USS TIGRONE (AGSS-419) XO/CO
DEC 57 – AUG 58 CSS-6 STAFF OPS OFFICER
AUG 58 – JUN 59 CSD-63 STAFF OPS & PLANS OFFICER
JUN 59 – DEC 60 USS CHIVO (SS-341) CO
JAN 61 – JAN 62 BUSHIPS (CODE 1500) NUCLEAR TRAINING
JAN 62 – MAR 62 GUIDED MISSILE SCHOOL STUDENT
APR 62 – APR 63 USS LAFAYETTE (SSBN-616) XO (BLUE)
MAY 63 – AUG 65 USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (SSBN-602) CO (BLUE)
AUG 65 – JUL 66 USS GEORGE BANCROFT (SSBN-643) CO (GOLD)
JUL 66 – APR 68 USS GEORGE BANCROFT (SSBN-643) CO (BLUE)
MAY 68 – AUG 70 COMSUBFLOT EIGHT – NAPLES, IT CHIEF OF STAFF
SEP 70 – MAY 74 SSPO, WASHINGTON, DC DEPUTY DIRECTOR
CAPTAIN Walter Matthew Douglass passed away on 2355, Friday, 13 December 2002, after a five-year battle with Alzheimer’s. A long-time resident of Saint Paris, Walt was born on 17 June 1923 to Claude Allison and Anna Agnes Douglass. He was the oldest of four brothers who grew up near the rural farming community of Shelbina, Missouri during the Great Depression.
Walt entered the United States Naval Academy in June 1943 during the height of World War II and graduated with the Class of 1947 in June 1946. Walt married Betty Jo Dew of Mogadore, Ohio on 15 March 1959 and had two children, Elizabeth and Robert.
Walt’s distinguished naval career in the United States Navy’s “Submarine Service” spanned nearly three decades. He commanded 4 submarines: two diesel submarines, USS Tigrone (AGSS-419) and USS Chivo (SS-341) plus two nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, USS Abraham Lincoln (SSBN-602) and USS George Bancroft (SSBN-643) during the height of the Cold War. Walt retired from the naval service in June 1974 after serving as Deputy Director, Strategic Programs Office in Washington, DC.
Walt and his family then moved to Saint Paris, Ohio in 1974 where he began renovating their home at 121 East Poplar Street. Walt was many things to many people but is possibly best remembered as a stalwart but caring father, loving husband, generous friend, kind spirit, patriotic American and pillar of honesty and integrity. An avid choir member of the Saint Paris United Methodist Church, Walt was also a Saint Paris Village Councilman and Planning Commission Chairman, an antique show and flea marketeer, a skilled woodworking craftsman and an extraordinary cook.
Walt was originally survived by his wife Betty Dew, daughter Elizabeth Joanne, son Robert Iain, grandsons John Angus and James MacIain and brother William. Walt was remembered on 17 December 2002 during a Memorial Service at the Saint Paris United Methodist Church. His remains were committed to the Columbarium at the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland on 19 December. In addition, a burial at sea was conducted onboard USS West Virginia (SSBN-736) during a port visit to Faslane, Scotland, a stone’s throw from the former U.S. submarine base at Holy Loch, Scotland, where he made 9 patrols as Commanding Officer. Betty joined Walt at the Naval Academy Columbarium after her passing in 2013.
COMMANDER: JOHN KILL
VICE COMMANDER: JIM ANGELICA
TREASURER: DAN OLDHAM
SECRETARY: CARL BUCKNER
The USS George Bancroft SSBN 643 was constructed by the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut, on 1 November 1962 and her keel was laid down there on 24 August 1963. She was launched on 20 March 1965. After many successful patrols with Polaris, Poseidon and Trident missiles, it was decommissioned on 21 September 1993. The USS George Bancroft's sail is on display at the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia.
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