Commanding Officers

Commander  S. E. Ramey   January 1954- January 1955
Captain H. B. Sherry  January 1955-May 1956
Commander M. A. Zimmerman  May 1956-Feb 1958
Commander R. H. Buckley February 1958- June 1958
Commander C. J. Peterson June 1958- May 1959
Commander R. E. Muller 28 May 1959- 2 November 1960
Commander W. K. Wilson November 1960- October 1961
Captain T. C. Williamson October 1961- August 1962
Commanding Officer W. G. Matton - August 1962- August 1963 

In February, 1941 Captain Matton received his commission upon graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy. After serving two years on USS WASHINGTON, he was awarded his Naval Aviator wings in November, 1943. Following a tour as a flight instructor, he became Executive Officer in 1945, of Photo Squadron 4 which was engaged in mapping operations of post World War II China. Captain Matton was later to serve as an intelligence officer on the staff of CINCLANTFLT, as Executive Officer of Patrol Squadron 24 and then to attend the U. S. Naval War College. In June, 1951 he commenced a tour of duty with the Central Intelligence Agency and then served as Executive Officer of the USS CORREGIDOR. In April, 1954 he took command of Patrol Squadron 5 which won the CNO Safety Award in fiscal year 1955. Captain Matton then went to the U. S. Naval Photographic Center as Executive Officer and to Commander, Fleet Air Wings, Atlantic as Assistant Chief of Staff for Readiness. Captain Matton was on the faculty of the Armed Forces Staff College from 1960 to 1962. Captain Matton was Commanding Officer USS DENEBOLA from August 1962 to August 1963 and then Commanding Officer of the Naval Reconnaissance and Technical Support Center until December 1965.  He was Commander Fleet Air Wing Two from February 1966 until May 1967 and FAW-2 received the Navy Unit Commendation during this period.  Prior to his retirement in 1968 he was Deputy Inspector General, CINCLANTFLT.  Captain Matton died in July 1992.

Commanding Officer Refo-August 1963-June 1964

Captain REFO is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in the Class of 1940.  After serving two years on USS New Mexico he received his designation as a Naval Aviator.  During a one year tour of duty, with Patrol Bombing Squadron VPB-127,  he held positions of Flight and Executive Officer. Just prior to VE-Day, Captain REFO, reported to the U.S. Navy Academy Post graduate School for a course in Ordnance Engineering (Aviation) culminating in a year of advanced study at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master of Science degree.  He was one of the plank owners, of the Navy’s first atomic bombing squadron, VC-5 and served seven years in Heavy Attack aircraft billets, the last as Commanding Officer on her first Sixth Fleet deployment.  Following three years in the POLARIS program, where he was awarded the Legion of Merit, Captain REFO was assigned to the National War College for one year and subsequently to Staff, Carrier Division TWO as Operations Officer.  Captain REFO was Deputy Missile Development Officer in the Bureau of Naval Weapons September, 1962 to August 5, 1963, at which time he assumed command of  USS DENEBOLA.  His next command was Commanding Officer of USS RANDOLPH (CVS-15).  He died November 1986.

Reference:  Ships Crew Book dated 1963-64

Commanding Officer Eggeman June 1964-July 1966

Captain Eggeman was born in Grand Haven, Michigan, 14 January 1918. He was educated in Lakewood Public Schools of Lakewood, Ohio and received a Commission as Ensign in the Naval Reserve upon graduation. 

Ordered to active duty in September of 1941, Captain Eggeman was assigned to the staff of the Commander South Pacific and subsequently to South and Central Pacific Amphibious commands.  He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Navy Unit Citation as Boat Control Officer for Amphibious landings at Saipan, Leyte Gulf, and Iwo Jima, Post War assignments included Operations Officer of the heavy cruiser Salem, Command of the Destroyer Putnam, Staff of ASW Carrier Division 18 and Shore Assignments in OPNAV and the Joint Staff of JCS.

Captain Eggeman is married and has three sons.  He has been active in Boy Scout activities in Fairfax County, Virginia and enjoys sailing and fishing as hobbies.

Reference:  Ships Crew Book dated 1964-65

   Captain Leland B. Cornell  July 1965- September 1966

Captain Cornell was born in Denison, Texas on 13 November 1919 and attended Southeastern State College in Durant, Oklahoma. In December of 1941 he entered the Naval Aviation Cadet Program and was designated a naval aviator in August 1942.

As a fighter pilot during WWII he participated in the Solomon Islands Campaign. During the pacific war, he downed 5 enemy planes and is listed as an "ACE".

Captain Cornell was Assistant Air Officer on USS TARAWA ( CVA- 40)  In 1956 he served on staff of COMCARDIV FOUR   as Air Operations and Special Weapons Officer. In 1957 he took command of VA-25 and in 1959 took command of VA-65.

After Commanding USS DENEBOLA Captain Cornell served in the Pentagon ( Op-05 ) for a few months and then became Commanding Officer of Lemoore Navel Air Station,  Lemoore, California from July 1967 to July 1969. After Lemoore, he served on staff of the Commandant 12th Naval District San Francisco from 1969 to 1971. In July 1971 he became Chief of Staff of the 12th Naval District San Francisco and retired in July of 1973.

Leland B. Cornell remains very active and will be celebrating his 86th birthday this November.


                   Captain Bach  

Captain Bach -September 1966-October 1967 

Captain Bach was born in McVille North Dakota on  3 January 1923. He attended Wisconsin State College in LaCrossse, Wisconsin ,and joined the Navy as an aviation cadet in 1943. He won his wings and commission the following year.  As a carrier based fighter pilot he participated in five campaigns against the Japanese, winning the Distinguished Flying Cross and seven Air Medals.  He also wore the Presidential Unit Citation for service aboard USS HORNET during World War II.  Later tours of duty have included five deployments to the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean.  During the first two, Captain Bach was Operations Officer and Officer-in-Charge, respectively, of night attack detachments of VA (AW) 33.  The third was as Commanding Officer of light jet attack squadron 106, and the last two were as Air Officer of USS INDEPENDENCE.  Captain Bach has also commanded a large replacement Air Group Squadron 43.  Attack Squadron 106 won the Airlant Battle Efficiency award under Captain Bach's command.  He personally scored six "E's" in eight competitive events.  USS INDEPENDENCE won the Admiral Flatley Award for safety in carrier air operations during Captain Bach's tour as Air Officer.  Captain Bach has a BA in Foreign Affairs from George Washington University, and is a graduate of the Naval Test Pilot School and the National War College.  He took command of the USS DENEBOLA on 7 September 1966. Captain Bach and the former Sally Ann Glidden of San Diego, California have one daughter, Rebecca. 

Reference:  Ships Crew Book dated 1967

Commanding Officer  October 1967 -July 1969

Captain Quinley R. (Dutch) Schulz was a sailor's Captain. He truly cared for his crew and frequently would stop the ship dead in the water and over the 1MC you would hear "Now swim call." I grabbed my trunks and put them on running to the port side bulwark. As I climbed up I looked to my right and up on the 03 level port wing was "Dutch", a perfect dive. I nearly killed myself diving from main deck. Another time In Valletta, Malta the ship ran aground in the harbor. If I remember correctly "Dutch" got scuba equipment on and went down under the ship to "Assess" any damage. There was none.

I have written to Dutch to see if he can give us his bio and photo.

Submitted by John Train EM2 1969-1973

   Captain H. G. Rodgers  July 1969- October 1970




Submitted by RM2 Tom Jurgensen 69-70 

  Captain Carl H. Herrick  October 1970-April 1972 
  Commanding Officer James F. Todd - March 1972 - January 21, 1974

Commander James F. Todd was born in Dearborn, Michigan, enlisted in the Navy in 1949,  entered the United states Naval academy in 1951 by fleet appointment and was graduated in 1955. After receiving his commission he served on various ships and staffs of both the Pacific and Atlantic Fleets. These included USS WISCONSIN (BB-64), USS WALKE (DD-723), USS CORRY (DD-817) and Staff, Commander Cruiser Division THREE. Commander Todd Studied Engineering Electronics at the Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, California and taught at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. His also served as Plans Officer for Fleet Electronics Warfare Support Group and Commanding Officer, USS TUTULLA (ARG-4) which was transferred to the Republic of China Navy on 21 February 1972 after it completed duties in the brown rivers of Vietnam. Change of Command ceremonies were on 21 January 1974 when Commander Richard F. Dewey assumed command of USS DENEBOLA.

Reference: Welcome aboard brochure



Captain Dewey passed away on April 12, 2007 of heart failure.  He will be missed by his family, friends and the Denebola crew.

Memorial Service was on April 29, 2007 Colfax, California

Commander  Richard F. Dewey January 1974- 1975  

A native of San Francisco, California, Captain Dewey entered active duty upon acceptance of a commission as Ensign from the NROTC Unit at Stamford University, on 6 September 1956.Following an initial tour as Security Officer, U.S. Naval Biological Laboratory, Oakland, California, he embarked upon a series of sea duty assignments commencing when he reported to USS Brown (DD546), in November 1957.  Succeeding tours, in order, included assignments oin USS Saint Paul (CA73), Beach Jumper Unit ONE, USS Chicago(CG11) and USS Bayfield(APA33).  In April 1967, then LT. CMDR. Dewey commenced a dual assignment with the Naval Advisory Group, Republic of Vietnam, and the US Navy River Patrol Force in the Mekong Delta region of Southeast Asia.  During this tour he saw combat action on numerous occasions including during the Viet Cong Tet Offensive of 1968.Then came a tour ashore with the NATO staff of Commander Naval Striking and Support Forces, Southern Europe.  Following promotion, Commander Dewey returned to sea as Executive Officer, USS Concord(AFS5) and from Jan.1974 to Jan.1976, he served as Commanding Officer, USS Denebola(AF56). A series of staff assignments started when he reported for duty as Operations Officer, Commander Service Group ONE in Feb.1976.  It was while serving as Training Officer and Chief Staff Officer at Fleet Training Group, San Diego, that he was promoted to the rank of Captain on 1 April 1978.  Next came duty as Chief Inspector and Chief Staff Officer, Military Sealift Command, Pacific, followed by a tour on the staff of Commander Naval Forces Marianas.  Captain Dewey's final tour of duty was as Commanding Officer, Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Readiness Center, Sacramento, California from which he transferred to the retired list effective 1 July 1987.  Captain Dewey's decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with Combat Action Ribbon plus various unit citations and service medals.  He is qualified for both the Navy Expert Rifleman and Navy Expert Pistol Shot Medals. Captain Dewey is married to the former Diane M. Morgan of La Mesa, California.  Their marriage has been blessed with four children and seven grandchildren.  In the course of their naval career they have lived in the areas of San Diego, Long Beach and San Francisco, California: Norfolk, Virginia: Yokosuka, Japan: Naples, Italy: and the Territory of Guam, Mariana Islands.  The Dewey's reside in retirement near Colfax, California where they enjoy the many opportunities for hunting, fishing and skiing offered by that region of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

   Commander Doolittle January - April 1976

Commander Doolittle was commissioned Ensign, U.S. Navy Reserve through the NROTC Contract Program upon receiving a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Brown University in June 1958.  he served as Deck Division Officer aboard USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42) from July 1958 until June 1960, when he was released from active duty.  he was recalled to active duty in April 1961 and served in the Bureau of Naval Personnel until September 1963.  Commander Doolittle's next duty was in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (Office of Naval Intelligence) where he served from October 1963 to February 1966.  He then attended the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School at Quantico, Virginia from March 1966 to July 1966.  Commander Doolittle then served as Operations Officer of USS Uvalde (LLA-88) until September 1968 and from October 1968 to November 1970, he was Commanding Officer of the Naval Reserve Center, Binghamton, New York.  His next duty was as Executive Officer of USS Waccamaw (AO-109) from January 1971 to April 1972.  He served in the Bureau of Naval Personnel from June 1972 to July 1974 and in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations from August 1974 to November 1975.  He assumed command of USS Denebola (AF-56) in January 1976 and served in that capacity until the ship's decommissioning in April 1976.  He was promoted to Commander  on 1 July 1973.  A native of Hamden, Connecticut, he is married to the former Katherine Ann Hill, of Hyde Park, New York.  The Doolittle's have a daughter, Ann and a son, Scott.  After Denebola, Commander Doolitte reported for duty as Commanding Officer, USS Nitro (AE-23). 

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