Abbot’s Commanding Officers:
Robert McHenry Pond

April 19, 1958 — July 6, 1959


The Captain was born in San Francisco and comes from a navy family, his grandfather having been a rear admiral, his father and uncle both commanders. His brother is now skipper of the oiler Aucilla. Commander Pond attended the University of California at Berkeley, receiving his commission from the NROTC unit there in 1943.

Commander Pond’s first duty assignment was with the destroyer Boyd, then being commissioned. He stayed aboard her until March 1945 in the capacities of CIC Officer. Communications Officer, Assistant Gunnery Officer and Fighter Director Officer.

During this tour of duty the Boyd participated in the following major operations: Central Pacific Raids (1943), Asiatic-Pacific Raids (1941), attacks, assault and capture of Gilbert Islands, Marshall Islands, Hollandia, Western New Guinea, Marianas, Western Caroline Islands, Leyte and Iwo Jima.

After the war, Commander Pond served with the Executive Department at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, until 1948. He then was assigned as Operations Officer for Commander Destroyer Squadron II with the Pacific Fleet and participated in, among other things, the evacuation of Shanghai.

Upon the outbreak of hostilities in Korea, June 1950, he participated in all types of operations as Chief Staff Officer and Gunnery Officer for Commander Destroyer Squadron II, who was a task group commander in command of all U.S. destroyers in the Western Pacific.

Since 1951 Commander Pond has served in turn with the Fleet Operational Readiness Division of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations as Executive Officer of the destroyer Hamner in the Pacific, and as Gunnery Officer of the aircraft carrier Essex in both Atlantic and Pacific waters. He assumed command of Abbot on 19 April 1958.

Commander Pond is married to the former Miss Kathleen Alice Kellar of San Francisco. They have three children: Judith, born 1947; Allison, born 1950; and Robert Jr., born 1958.

1958 Abbot cruise book

Change of Command