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Kent Jean Carroll

August 22, 1926 August 11, 2019
Kent Jean Carroll
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Obituary for Kent Jean Carroll

Vice Admiral Kent J. Carroll, USN (Ret.), 92, of Pinehurst, NC passed peacefully onto eternity Sunday, August 11th, 2019 at his home with loving family by his side. A Celebration of Life gathering for those better acquainted with him will be hosted by his children at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 12th at his home in CCNC. Please contact Rev. Allen of Brownson Memorial Presbyterian Church who will be officiating if you would like to attend.

A Memorial Service at the Ft Myer Old Post Chapel followed by an In-Ground Internment with full military honors will be held at a future date at Arlington National Cemetery where he will join his beloved wife of 61 years, Betty Marie Carroll, who preceded him in death in 2008.

In December 1943 Kent enlisted as an Apprentice Seaman in the Navy’s V-12 program and was commissioned an Ensign in the wartime NROTC program at University of Notre Dame. He served on a battleship, aircraft carrier, numerous submarines and amphibious ships. His combat tours included 15 months in the Western Pacific during the Korean War while serving in submarines participating in three 3 war patrols off the Soviet Coast. During his command of the USS BLUE RIDGE he conducted two amphibious assault operations on the coast of Vietnam.

His ten command tours were: Commanding Officer USS SABLEFISH SS 303, Commander Submarine Division 81, Commander Task Group 69.1 (Mediterranean Submarine Division), Commander Submarine Division 82, Commissioning Commanding Officer of USS BLUE RIDGE, which continues to be the command ship/flag ship of the Seventh Fleet (launched 50 years ago), and Commander Amphibious Squadron 10. His Admiral Command tours included: Commander Naval Inshore Warfare Command Atlantic, Commander Task Force 65 in the Arab Republic of Egypt, Commander U.S. Naval Forces Marianas and Commander Military Sealift Command. In between Commands, Kent graduated from the Navy Post Graduate School, the Navy War College and the Army War College.

For nine months in 1973, after the Israel’s victory in the Arab-Israeli war, Kent was ordered to Egypt and took command of all U.S. forces and commanded the efforts of all U.S., Egyptian, French and British forces in clearing the Suez Canal which had been closed for nearly seven years. He was assigned three tasks: First the salvage of 10 ships sunk in the canal, the sole responsibility of the U.S.; Second - to clear all mines and ordinance on the banks of the canal, a joint U.S. Egyptian responsibility. In his final report to the JCS, he reported 686,000 mines had been cleared. His third assignment was to remove the unexploded ordnance from the canal. This was a joint U.S., Egyptian, French and British responsibility. He had the experience of personally briefing Egyptian President Anwar Sadat monthly during his eight months in the Suez Canal Zone.

In 1975, as Commander Naval Forces Marianas, he was responsible for processing through Guam tens of thousands of refugees evacuated during the fall of South Vietnam. He was also responsible for repatriating 1,546 Vietnamese back to Vietnam.

During 1977-1981 he was one of three directors on the staff for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and promoted to Vice Admiral. As the Director for Logistics, he was responsible for the development of the Navy’s fast sealift and maritime prepositioning programs that were enormously successful during the war with Iraq. In 1981 he assumed duties as Commander of the Navy’s Military Sealift Command and was responsible for managing the operation of the Navy’s largest fleet consisting of 145 ships. In 1983 he retired after more than 39 years of continuous active military duty which included service in the military during World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the majority of the Cold War.

For his military efforts he was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Navy Distinguished Service Medal (two awards), Legion of Merit (three awards), the Combat Action Ribbon and various medals from World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Cold War. President Gerald Ford presented him the Presidential Citation for Humanitarian Services for inspirational leadership for his efforts with the refugees on Guam, which also brought him the annual United States Navy League’s prestigious John Paul Jones Leadership Award. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat presented him with the Order of Merit First Class for his efforts in the Suez Canal zone. In 1995, Notre Dame presented Kent with their Distinguished Alumni Association’s Reverend Corby Award during half-time of the Navy - Notre Dame Football game.

Since retiring to Pinehurst in 1983 he has served as President and Vice President of the English Speaking Union, Sandhills Chapter; President and Vice President of the Retired Officers Association, Sandhills Chapter; On the Board of Directors for the Pinehurst Civic Group (4 years), The Country Club of North Carolina (6 years), and First Health Hospice (6 years), President of the committee that build the War Memorial in Cannon Park honoring veterans of WW1, WW II, Korea and Vietnam and a faithful long time member of Brownson Memorial Presbyterian Church in Southern Pines.

Although dedicated to serving his country and community, his greatest love was for his wife & family. He is survived by their 4 children, 9 grandchildren & 11 great grandchildren. Their son Craig is a military history preservation expert and son Lance is a retired Army Colonel and married to Christine Carroll. Daughter Debra is married to retired Navy Captain David Rollins and daughter Maureen is married to retired Navy Captain Larry Burt. Grandchildren include Melanie King (Zane King), Patrick Carroll who is serving in the Air Force & currently deployed (Sara Carroll), Bryan Rollins (Melissa Rollins), Kimberly Rollins, Jonathan Carroll who is serving in the Navy (Rachel Carroll), Ashley Carroll, Mallory Moffit (Adam Moffit who is serving in the Navy), Katherine Nevin (Philip Nevin), and Samuel Burt who is serving in the Marine Corps & currently deployed (Lucy Burt). Great grandchildren include Madelyn & Joshua King, Hannah Carroll, Zoe & Elle Rollins, Norah, Violet, William & James Moffit, Marigold & Poppy Nevin, and counting…

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to First Health Hospice & Palliative Care, 150 Applecross Rd, Pinehurst, NC 28374.

Services entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Pinehurst.


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