CDR Henry J. (Jack) Conger USN (Ret.)

Courtesy of his son,
CAPTAIN Michael Dewitt Conger, USN (Ret.)

May 11, 1916 - Mar. 4, 2012

Born in Norman Park, GA. and resided in Virginia Beach, VA.

Celebration of Life Service:
Saturday, Mar. 10, 2012
2:00 pm
Westminster-Canterbury Chapel
3100 Shore Drive Virginia Beach, Virginia


CDR Henry J. Conger (Jack) U.S.N. retired, of 3100 Shore Dr., Virginia Beach, VA, died March 4, 2012.

CDR Conger was born in Norman Park, GA on May 11, 1916, the son of Isaac Young and Mary Willis Conger, both deceased. He lived in Tifton, GA and was a 1933 graduate of Tifton High Scholl. He also attended Marion Military Institute from 1934-1935.

CDR Conger entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1936 and graduated with the class of '41 on February 7. He spent the next four years on the U.S.S. IDAHO participating in the Atlantic Neutrality Patrol, as well as twelve major engagements in the south and northern Pacific. Other engagements included tours of duty on the U.S.S TARAWA, on the staff of the battleships and cruisers in the Pacific, on the board of inspections and survey in Washington D.C., head of the electrical engineering department at the U.S. Naval Academy, on the staff of the CINCLANTFLT, WESTLANT, and SERVRON TWO, as well as the executive officer on the U.S.S. Porter.  He enjoyed command-at-sea as the commanding officer on the destroyer U.S.S. LAFFEY, DD-724, now home ported in Charleston, SC.

As commanding officer of the U.S.S. LAFFEY, his ship received several citations for knocking out shore batteries in Wonsan Harbor during the longest ship to shore battle of the Korean War. CDR Conger was awarded the Bronze Star with a "V" for valor for this engagement.

Retiring from the Navy in 1961, he obtained his Master's Degree in Physics and Mathematics from the College of William and Mary. He joined the Norfolk school system, teaching Physics at Norview High School. He retired from his teaching career as head of the Science Department in 1981.

He was a member and Deacon of Royster Memorial Presbyterian Church, a life member of the Retired Officers Association, the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association, and the American Philatelic Society.

CDR Conger is survived by his wife, Greta Ginnuth Conger; a son, CAPT Michael Dewitt Conger, USN (Ret.), and his wife Annette; a daughter, Patricia Jean Noble and her husband Carter; two grandchildren, Rod Noble and Wendy Papelino and her husband Kyle; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his first wife, Lois Jane Conger; a son, James Rodreick Conger; a brother, Dr. Preston Dewitt Conger, MD; and a sister, Elizabeth "Sister" Harris.

The family would like to thank the entire staff at Westminster-Canterbury on the Chesapeake Bay, especially the nurses and staff of The Hoy Center.

A celebration of Jack's life will be held at the chapel at Westminster-Canterbury on Saturday, March 10, 2012, at 2 p.m. Burial will be in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, monetary donations may be made to the Westminster-Canterbury Foundation or Royster Memorial Presbyterian Church, 6901 Newport Ave., Norfolk, VA 23505.

I served with Captain Conger on the USS Laffey, 51-53. As we sailed into Wonsan Harbor, Korea on the 30th April '52, unaware we were about to engage in the longest ship to shore battle of the Korean "conflict" at that time with at least 170 rounds of enemy shore fire falling around our lady. She did sustain shrapnel and a lost windshield.

In spite of the mine infested harbor, Captain Conger managed to maneuver the ship in order to silence a good number of shore batteries in this particular engagement and sustained no casualties.

I have always been thankful of Captain Congers Seamanship ability in that particular situation.

RIP Captain Conger

D.T. Bennett  SN

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