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Harry R. Gault

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Harry was born on December 15, 1934 in Kittanning, PA, the eldest child of Harry Graham Gault and Alice Blanche Corbett.  On the day he was born, the Alleghany River had flooded over, forcing the doctor who delivered him into the world to arrive by boat to the front door of his parents’ apartment. 

Harry attended Clarion State Teachers College before joining the United States Navy.  In 1955, began flight school training in Pensacola, FL.  Then, in 1957, he was commissioned an Ensign and designated a Naval Aviator.  From 1957-1959, Harry was stationed in Long Beach, CA as a member of Flight Squadron VS-73.  During this tour, Harry flew the Grumman S2F and conducted more than 100 carrier landings on the USS Yorktown (CVS-10), making him a Centurion on the ship.  More importantly, while stationed here, Harry met his future wife, Peggy, and the two were married on September 19, 1959. 

Next, Harry was assigned to the airborne early warning squadron VAW-11, stationed at NAS North Island, CA.  While there, he flew the S2F, AW-11, TF-1Q, AD-5Q, and WF-2 on and off the desks of 4 different aircraft carriers.  During a visit to the base by President Eisenhower, Harry introduced the WF-2, also referred to as the “Willy Fudd”, saying, “Mr. President, you have just seen the Navy’s fastest airplane, and this is the Navy’s newest and slowest.”  With this, the usually stoic Eisenhower burst into laughter. 

In September 1959, Harry was deployed to the Mediterranean Sea as a part of Task Group Alpha Specials ASW with VS-26. Then, from 1968-1970, he was deployed to Vietnam with VS-33.  After Vietnam, Harry was assigned to the Washington Navy Yard, DC, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the Naval Air Facility Andrews AFB, MD.  While stationed at the Naval Air Facility, he was responsible for transporting the kidney transplant team, patients, and official dignitaries.  He retired a LCDR in July 1977 with over 1700 carrier landings and over 5800 logged flight hours.

After his Naval service, Harry embarked on a successful 22 year real estate career.  A long time resident of Springfield, VA, he was an active member of Grace Presbyterian Church and volunteered much of his time to community and outreach projects.  In 2010, Harry and Peggy moved to The Fairfax. 

Harry is survived by his beloved wife Peggy, daughters Terri (Dave Henson) and Tammi (Louis Violetta), son Tom (Cindy Gault), 8 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, and sister, Carolyn Moore.  He was preceded in death by his grandson, Michael Gault.

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