In honor of Veterans Day, the following photos were taken at the funeral of U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Robert B. Erly, (retired).  Admiral Erly was a decorated survivor of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and died at the age of 100 on July 31, 2014 in Coronado, California, and was buried at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis,  Maryland, on November 3, 2014.
  I was honored to  attend his funeral as a member of my husband’s family who very fondly called Admiral Erly, “Uncle Bob”.  Scroll down below the photos for Admiral Erly’s biography.  He was one of the last of  “The Greatest Generation”.    Nancy 
U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Robert B. Erly, (retired)

Naval Academy Chapel










Rear Admiral Robert Broussard Erly
          Rear Admiral Robert Broussard Erly, a resident of Coronado, California, and a highly decorated military veteran of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam Conflict died Thursday, July 31, 2014, at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, California, at age 100.
          Admiral Erly was born in Washington, D. C., on June 12, 1914, to the late Alfred Angus and Beatrice Erly.  He entered the United States Naval Academy in 1933 with an at-large appointment and graduated in 1937.
          On the morning of December 7, 1941, while Japanese planes were bombing his destroyer, the USS Cassin, the destroyer USS Downes, and the battleship USS Pennsylvania (the three ships were together in dry dock), then Lieutenant Junior Grade  Erly organized the turning of water hoses on the burning ships.  As the bombs continued to fall, Lt. Erly, with the help of two members of the ship’s crew, water hosed the torpedoes and depth charges to prevent them from exploding and further damaging the Pennsylvania and the two destroyers.  All three ships were later repaired and returned to service.  Erly received the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V. 
          During the remainder of the war, he served on various destroyers in the Pacific and Atlantic and commanded the destroyer USS Phelps.  During the war and after, he also served many years on numerous missions to Cuba and Venezuela and received many medals and commendations.
          During the Korean conflict, he commanded the USS James C. Owens, and in May l952, the Owens dueled with enemy shore batteries, hitting and destroying at least two enemy guns, rail lines, trains and storage yards in Songjen Harbor.   He was awarded the Bronze Star with a Combat V.
          Erly served tours of duty at the Pentagon and was a commander of amphibious forces.  He was Deputy Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief U.S. Atlantic Fleet.  He received the Legion of Merit and three Gold Stars for meritorious service.  He served as Director of Pan American Affairs and received medals and commendations from several South American countries.
          His final tour of duty was in Portugal as Commander of Iberian Forces Atlantic Fleet and Chief of the Military Assistance Advisory Group to Portugal.
          After his medical retirement as Rear Admiral in l974, he moved permanently to Coronado, California, where he was active in the Navy League, Community Playhouse, American Cancer Society, Navy Yacht Club of San Diego, San Diego Cruiser Association, and other civic associations.  An avid boater, Erly, also a member of the Coronado Yacht Club, continued to race and win races through this year.
          He was a member of the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association, the Retired Officers Association, a former trustee of the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation and a member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association.
          Admiral Erly was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife of 60 years, Lois Richards Erly; his sister, Clare Erly Wootten; and his brother, John K. Erly.  He is survived by his wife, Thea H. Wallace Erly of Coronado and numerous nieces and nephews.
          Burial services will be conducted at the United States Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland, at a later date.





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