Abbot’s Commanding Officers:
Rue O’Neill Jr.

February 26, 1951 — November 1952


Rue O’Neill Jr. (he had no middle name) was a native of Dallas and a 1940 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.

Rue’s first assignment was to the cruiser Phoenix, which survived the bombing of Pearl Harbor to continue fighting in the South Pacific. In September 1942 he was detached from Phoenix to attend Submarine School training at New London, Connecticut.

In World War II, he served in the submarines Bass, Cachalot, Saury, Grouper and Kingfish in the Atlantic and Pacific, finishing the war as commanding officer of Lapon during decommissioning. Following a short tour commanding Requin in late 1946, he was stationed for three years at the Naval Academy as an instructor in electrical engineering.

In 1949, he returned to sea as executive officer of the destroyer Collett during the Korean War. This was followed by a two years’ command of Abbot in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, three years on OpNav’s Electronic Counter Measures staff and a two-year tour on Joint Staff in Anchorage, Alaska, followed by a year at sea as executive officer of the cruiser Worcester.

Rue served his final tour of active duty as executive officer of NavSta Charleston, South Carolina. His wartime service earned the Bronze Star Medal and Presidential Unit Citation. He retired from active service on 1 July 1960.

Following retirement from the Navy, he joined McDonnell Aircraft in St. Louis as an electronic systems engineer, dealing primarily with missiles and spacecraft. Besides working for McDonnell, he wrote articles for navy-related publications, such as Proceedings and Submarine Review, as well as editorials for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the St. Louis Globe Democrat. He belonged to several local organizations and particularly enjoyed the international affairs groups. He was active in ham radio and helped many others get started in the hobby. Golf was high on his agenda; he played at least three times a week. He and Lew were proud of their son, who is a tenured professor at West Point and has written a successful novel, “Shades of Gray,” soon to be made into a movie.

He died of cancer on 20 December 1988 in St. Louis. He is survived by his wife, Mary Lew, of St. Louis; by a son, Lt. Col. Timothy R. O’Neill, USA; and by two granddaughters, all of West Point, N.Y..

Adapted from:
U.S. Naval Academy alumni web site