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Rear Admiral William M. Gibson was born October 8, 1901, in Ft. Collins, Colorado. He william gibsonattended 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:

"For 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.


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Last Updated: June 8, 2006 9:27 AM

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