Admiral William M. Gibson
was born October 8, 1901, in Ft. Collins, Colorado. He attended
Colorado State College where he received a Bachelor of Science
Degree in Civil and Irrigation Engineering on June 5, 1924.
Following his graduation, he was appointed as a Deck Officer
on September 1, 1924, and was commissioned as an Ensign on
August 8, 1925. During his 33-year career his duties included
being assigned aboard the LYDONIA, the MARINDUQUE, and the
PATHFINDER, OCEANOGRAPHER, and PIONEER as Executive Officer,
and the HYDROGRAPHER and BOWIE as Commanding Officer. His
other assignments included various Geodesy and Triangulations
Parties, many of which he served as Chief of Party. He served
as Assistant Chief in the Geophysics Division and at the time
of his retirement was serving as Supervisor of the Western
District Office in San Francisco.
During World War II Admiral Gibson was transferred to the
Navy from March 16, 1942 until September 30, 1946. He was
given temporary promotions to Commander and Captain. He was
awarded the Bronze Star Medal by the Commander South Pacific
Area and South Pacific Force with the following citation:
meritorious service as Executive Officer on a hydrographic
survey vessel operating in the South Pacific Area from June
1942 to May 1944. During this period Commander Gibson was
responsible for the preparation of a large number of valuable
charts of the waters in this area. He conducted numerous surveys
in and planned the charts of the waters surrounding the British
Solomon Islands. These were the first complete and accurate
charts of these waters, and were of inestimable value to the
many naval commands in planning and carrying operations against
the Japanese. On several occasions he made rough surveys at
night by motor torpedo boats in close proximity to enemy-held
islands in order to obtain accurate data. His conduct and
devotion to duty contributed materially to the success of
our forces in this area and were in keeping with the highest
traditions of the United States Naval Service."
Based on his Bronze Star Medal, Admiral Gibson was given an
honorary advancement to Rear Admiral effective March 1, 1958,
when he retired.
He is survived by his wife, the former Margaret A. Darr, and
one son, William E. Gibson.
NOAA CORPS BULLETIN, 2/1/1984