Capt. George Elliot, Retired Naval Officer

1937 - 2014

Captain George M. Elliott, 77, of Lewes, passed away Friday, Oct. 17, 2014, at his residence, after a humble and dignified journey with cancer. He was born July 29, 1937, in Gumboro, son of the late Josh Elliott and Mary Florence (Brittingham) Elliott.

In 1939 the family moved to Laurel, where George attended Laurel public schools, graduating in June,1955 from Laurel High School. Upon graduation, he entered the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. He graduated in June,1959 from the academy as a commissioned ensign.

George's first assignment was on the USS Meredith (DD890) in Norfolk, Va., where he served as the chief engineeringoOfficer until May, 1962. George was then transferred to Charleston, S.C., where he served as the executive officer on the minesweeper USS Alacrity (MSO 520) In June,1963 George was promoted to lieutenant.

In August, 1964, George was assigned to the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, where he graduated in May, 1966 and was awarded a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering. George then served from August,1966 until April, 1968 as commanding officer of the ocean salvage tug USS Nipmuc (ATF 157), whose home port was Newport, R.I. During this time, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant commander.

Following this duty station, George was ordered to serve his country in the Republic of Vietnam as the commander of Coastal Division Eleven, which was based in An Thoi.

In August, 1969, George reported as a student to the U.S. Naval War College in the Naval Command and Staff course. After completing these studies in June, 1970, he was ordered to the USS Orleck (DD886) in San Diego, Calif. as executive officer. In February, 1971, George was given command of the destroyer USS Epperson (DD719) at Pearl Harbor. It was during this tenure that he was promoted to the rank of commander. Following this tour of duty, he returned to the Naval War College in Newport. Here he continued his studies in naval warfare and also enrolled in additional courses offered by George Washington University, which led to the conferring of the Master of Science in International Affairs in May, 1974.

In July, 1974 George began a 30-month tour of duty at Norfolk on the staff of Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (NATO) as current operations officer. This was followed by an appointment as Commander Carrier Group Eight staff as plans officer. The staff was housed on the USS America (CVS 66) based in Norfolk.

In August,1979 George reported to the U.S. State Department for studies with the Executive Seminar in National and International Affairs. In August, 1980 he began a tour of duty at the Pentagon as part of the naval staff in the Strategic Plans and Policy Division. George served as Near East desk officer for 18 months. He would then assume the duties of executive secretary to the Chief of Naval Operations for JCS Matters.

In December, 1982 George took command of the USS Samuel Gompers (AD37) and deployed to Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. The Samuel Gompers was a repair ship with a crew of 1,300 sailors, approximately 300 of whom were female. This was the first major U.S. naval vessel with a co-ed crew.

George retired from active duty Sept. 1, 1985. It was then that George and his wife, Trenny, moved "back home" to Lewes in Sussex County, where he resided until his passing.

Though George retired from active military duty, he did not stop serving his community. George worked nine years with Windsor's Greenhouses; he was a member of the Lewes-Rehoboth Rotary Club since 1987. George served as president of the Rotary Club from 1994-95. He was president of the Lewes Historical Society from 1996-2003 and director of the Overfalls Maritime Museum Foundation. George had a personal commitment to the lightship's restoration. George was honored to be inducted into the Delaware Maritime Hall of Fame in 2011. Click here to read the induction.

George was known for his very dry sense of humor, something his friends and family surely will miss. He was an avid gardener and enjoyed playing golf whenever the opportunity would present itself.

In addition to his parents, George was preceded in death by his wife, Trennick Marvil Elliott in 2006. He is survived by his daughter, Kristin E. Baker and her husband Weber of Farmers Branch, Texas; two granddaughters, Bethany Brooke Elliott of Farmers Branch, and Erin Elizabeth Elliott of Ft. Worth, Texas; one sister, Rachel Waller, and her husband Ronnie of Laurel; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.