1925 – 2022
Captain Frank Lawrence Boushee, USN (ret.), took his last catapult shot on 05 July 2022 in Jacksonville, FL after a period of declining health. He was 97 years old.
Frank was born 02 January 1925 to Clelia Blanton Martin and Franklin Boushee at Sibley Hospital, Washington, D.C. He spent his first five years on an 86-acre chicken farm in Fairfax County, VA. In 1930, his family moved into the District of Columbia, where he attended Brightwood Elementary and Paul Junior High School. In 1939, the family moved to Pittsburgh, PA. He attended Mt. Lebanon High School, where he was a member of the National Honor Society, Chief Justice of the Student Supreme Court, a wrestling champion, and a member of the Pennsylvania State Champion Cross Country team. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy V-1 program in December 1942, and graduated from high school in January 1943. After spending one semester on scholarship at Bethany College, Bethany, WV, Frank was called as an Apprentice Seaman in the V-12 Navy College Training Program at University of Louisville, KY. From there, he was transferred to the NROTC unit at Oklahoma University, Norman, OK, where he received a Pennsylvania Senatorial Appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, and reported on 13 June 1944.
He was commissioned an Ensign on 06 June 1947, and reported to USS ARNEB (AKA-56) at Hunter’s Point Naval Shipyard, CA on 02 July 1947. As the only ensign and bachelor among ten officers on board, he had many jobs. After trips to Hawaii, USS ARNEB was scheduled to be decommissioned in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. He was next assigned to the newest, largest, and most powerful warship in the world at that time: USS CORAL SEA (CVB-43). After two years on board, Frank was qualified as OOD underway and in formation, and had also immersed himself into studying what would become a life-long passion: understanding and investing in the stock market.
Ordered to Flight Training at NAS Pensacola, FL, he was promoted to LTJG, and commenced flight training in June 1950 in Florida and Texas. He received his wings in September 1951, and reported to his first carrier squadron to fly the new Grumman Guardian (AF-2S/W) in Air Anti-Submarine Squadron Twenty-Two (VS-22), which operated at NAS Norfolk, VA. In 1952, his squadron embarked on USS Mindoro (CVE-120) for the first-ever, large-scale NATO naval exercise, MAINBRACE, in the North Atlantic and North Sea. Frank made several more cruises to the Caribbean and European/Mediterranean areas of operations. After LSO school at Barin Field, AL, Frank qualified as the squadron’s senior Landing Signal Officer and fulfilled his duties on straight-deck CVE, CVS, or CVL carriers.
In May 1955, Frank married his “one and only,” Betty Wise East, of Norfolk, VA. His first shore duty in January 1956 was as a student in Class 16 Test Pilot Training at the Naval Air Test Center in Patuxent River, MD. He relieved LTJG Scott Carpenter as Schedules Officer in Electronics Test Division. Frank was surprised to be the junior member of eight USNA classmates ordered to the Command and Staff Course at the Naval War College in Newport, RI. From there, he was assigned along with eight other Naval War College graduates to the Air Intelligence School at NAS Anacostia, Washington, DC.
In March 1959, he and Betty drove across the country on historic Route 66 stopping to visit relatives and points of interest before he reported to USS HANCOCK (CVA-19) at Hunter’s Point, CA. Two years as Air Intelligence Officer and two deployments to the West Pacific enabled him to qualify as EOOW and CDO underway and in port. Next came orders as Operations Officer of Air Anti-Submarine Squadron Thirty-eight (VS-38) operating out of the naval air station at North Island, in San Diego, CA, and a third deployment to the West Pacific, on board USS BENNINGTON (CVS20). His next duty stint was surprise orders in July 1963 to Commander in Chief Naval Forces Europe, London, UK, as the only USN student at the British Joint Services Staff College, (JSSC) Latimer, Buckinghamshire, UK. President Kennedy was assassinated during this time, and as the “Senior Service” representative, Frank attended several Church of England and British Naval Memorial Services for the President, who was extremely popular with the British public and establishment.
Upon graduation from “Latimer,” he reported to Air Anti-Submarine Squadron Twenty-five (VS-25) as XO/CO at NAS San Diego, CA. His next deployment to the West Pacific was on board USS YORKTOWN (CVS-10) and was extended by the commencement of hostilities in Vietnam. His squadron set several efficiency, flight, and safety records during this cruise. Additionally, that deployment was the first time a Non-Aviator Flag Officer was in command of a Carrier Task Force/Group. Ordered as Air Officer, USS BENNINGTON (CVS-20), he deployed again to West Pacific and the US Seventh Fleet (the “Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club”). Bennington hosted “Bob Hope” for the 1966 Christmas at sea.
His second assignment to shore duty in September 1967 was the “Carrier Desk” on the Chief of Naval Operation’s staff in the Pentagon. He ended the flying part of his career in September 1969 with 4,000 plus hours in more than 25 different aircraft. Frank flew jet and reciprocating, single- and -engine sea and land aircraft, and also had a few hours in several helicopters. He had 700-plus carrier landings – over 100 on straight decks, and over 100 at night. He had landed on every type aircraft carrier in the fleet: CVA, CVB, CVE, CVL, CVN, CVS, and CVT.
Following service on CNO staff, Frank and Betty took an abbreviated Turkish language course and reported as American Legation United States Naval Attaché in Ankara, Turkey. They traveled extensively in the Middle East. His next assignment was to the Defense Intelligence Agency as Inspector General, again involving extensive travel to inspect Attache’ offices in U.S. embassies worldwide. Many assignments were for the purpose of correcting difficult situations. These were ideal for his unique style of leadership: “quickly and quietly.” He regarded the Navy as an extension of his family – always looking after his men and obeying his superiors, which earned him the respect of his contemporaries. His twilight tour was as Chief of Staff of Naval Technical Training Command, Memphis, TN.
Frank was authorized to wear twelve medals and service ribbons, from the Legion of Merit to the Expert Pistol medal.
With 34 1/2 years having passed since enlisting in the Navy, Frank retired on 30 June 1977. Betty correctly maintained that she never retired! They moved to Wilmington, NC where he had spent childhood summers with family at Wrightsville Beach. In Wilmington, Frank was involved in establishing a viable Republican Party in the state of North Carolina and in New Hanover County. He enjoyed success with his investment hobby, and had an NC commercial fishing license. He enjoyed watching the sun rise as he cared for his boat and nets, and he benefited from the good physical exercise of pulling many pounds of shrimp, fish, crab, and oysters from the waters around the Cape Fear, NC region. It provided for an ideal retirement.
In August, 2013, Frank and Betty moved to Jacksonville, FL to be near his widowed sister, Clelia Bullard, and her family. He was a member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Timuquana Country Club, and numerous Navy and military-related organizations, including Navy League of the United States and Association of Naval Aviation. He also enjoyed membership at Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, VA.
Frank was a doting surrogate father to his nieces, who called him “Uncle Perfect,” and the children of family friends, all of whom adored him and will miss him terribly. He mentored with steadfast principles, fierce loyalty, and a wry wit. His practical jokes were the stuff of legends.
He was predeceased by his infant older brother, Britt; his parents; step-mother, Agnes Boushee; wife, Betty Wise East; sister and brother-in-law, Clelia and Ray Bullard; niece, Molly B. McRae; great-niece Roslyn Boushee Henderson; and nephew-in-law, Rick Pease.
He is survived by his sister, Kathy B. Ames (Mark); nieces Clelia Davis, Britt Pease, Roslyn Volpe (Tim), Danielle Lawson (Jeff); nephew-in-law Jesse McRae; many grand- and great-grand nieces and nephews; and a host of cousins and friends.
The family will receive friends on Saturday, July 9, from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. at Timuquana Country Club. The funeral and burial will take place on a later date at Fort Myer, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, 875 North Randolph Street, Arlington, VA. 22203, or St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 4129 Oxford Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32210.
Arrangements under the care of Naugle Funeral Home.