MISSOULA – Capt. William Harrell Greene Jr., U.S.N. retired, 76, of Missoula, died suddenly of metastatic cancer Tuesday, May 28, 2012, at home surrounded by loving family members. He was born April 25, 1936, in Fort Smith, Ark.
His first duty station as an Ensign was V.U. 1 at Ewa Beach, Hawaii. The following is a list of his career duty stations: Pacific Missile Test Range, Point Mugu, Calif.; Attack Squadron 212 in Lemoore, Calif.; aircraft carriers the USS Bonhomme Richard and the USS Hancock, which made three Vietnam cruises; Defense Communication Planning Group in Washington, D.C.; and the Naval War College, Newport, R.I., as a student and then assigned as an instructor for the Naval War College.
In 1971, he was chosen for command of VA-75 in Oceana, Va. A chronicled account written by Carol Reardon, “Launch the Intruders,” provides a detailed biography of his squadron’s participation during that Vietnam cruise aboard the USS Saratoga. He had a bonus command of VA-42, Oceana, Va., followed by U.S. Air Force Air University, Montgomery, Ala.; Rickover Naval Nuclear School, Idaho Falls, Idaho; and USS Charleston, Norfolk, Va. He was selected to take command of the aircraft carrier the USS Lexington, Pensacola, Fla. His final tour was the Naval Weapons Center Air Station, China Lake, Calif.
He retired from the Navy with an honorable discharge in 1983. His professional positions after Naval retirement are as follows: Northrup Grumman, Lawton, Okla., and Edgerton, Germeshausen, and Grier (EG&G), Arlington, Va. He retired from EG&G in 1999 as first vice president and returned to Missoula.
Due to his father being in the Navy, he attended numerous primary and secondary grade schools. He graduated from Havre High School in 1953 and attended the University of Montana- Northern in Havre.
He graduated from the University of Rhode Island, Kingston, with a B.A. degree in military history, George Washington University in Washington, D.C., with an M.A. degree in political science and the U.S. Air Force Air University, Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Ala., with an M.S. degree in computer science.
He enjoyed a myriad of hobbies that included water colors, genealogy, woodworking, model building and many others too numerous to mention. He was a diehard Lady Griz basketball fan.
He was a member of Model Airplane Club of America, Montana Military Officers Association, Masonic Masons, and a volunteer for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
He was a well-respected member of the community. In every historical aspect, he was a true officer and gentleman.
Awards and Achievements – Silver Star (3rd award), Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation with Gallantry Cross (2nd Award), Vietnam Service Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal (2nd Award), Meritorious Unit Commendation, Navy Unit Commendation (2nd Award) , Presidential Unit Commendation (2nd Award), Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V” (9th Award), Air Medal Strike/Flight Awards (32nd Award), Air Medal (10th Award), Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal (2nd Award), Distinguished Flying Cross (9th Award), Legion of Merit, Vietnam Service Medal with Bronze Star.
He is survived by Lilliane (Howard) Greene, his loving wife of 54 years; daughter Dawn Greene-Bare of Woodbridge, Va.; son William Greene III (Julie) of Lahaina, Hawaii; daughter Kalaine Greene of Missoula; granddaughter Rachael Shoemaker of Winter Springs, Fla.; mother Emma Greene of Lompoc, Calif.; sister Rayna Pinkerton of Lompoc, Calif.; brother and sister in-law Sterling and Lavonne Haaland of Swan Lake; and numerous nephews and nieces.
He was preceded in death by his father, William H. Harrell Greene Sr.
Memorials may be made to Partners in Home Care, 2687 Palmer, Suite B, Missoula, MT 59808; American Cancer Society, 3550 Mullan Road, Suite 103, Missoula, MT 59808; or Wounded Warriors Project, 2223 Alaskan Way, No. 220, Seattle, WA 98121.
Services will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, June 4, at the First Presbyterian Church, 235 S. Fifth St. W. Prior to the service, there will be opportunity for friends to pay their respects while the casket is open at the church from noon to 1 p.m. Following services, a reception will be held in the Fellowship Hall. Burial with full military honors will be at a later time at Arlington National Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the care of Garden City Funeral Home.