(On the USS Midway - 2008)
Gerard M. Marchand, age 88, passed away January 13, 2009. Born in Lowell, Mass. in 1920, Jerry or "Moxie" (he seldom used his name Gerard spent his formative years and early adulthood, surviving the Depression of the 1930's. An early interest in Radio led him to enlist in the Naval Reserve as a radioman apprentice in 1939. Answering President Roosevelt's call up of reserve forces in 1940 Jerry was on active naval duty when Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was attacked on December 7, 1941. World War II was a busy time for Radioman first class Marchand. Starting with assignments on board transport ships moving enemy internees from Caribbean and South American Countries sympatric to the U.S. cause. Radioman first class Marchand went on to assignments aboard such renowned ships as the Battle Ship Texas and New York and Destroyer USS Sigsbee DD-502. The Sigsbee participated in some of the bitterest fighting of the Pacific Theater. Chief Marchand stayed on in the Navy to give to his country another 20 years of service. A new assignment to Naval Center San Diego, Calif. in 1950 as a Teletype Instructor, brought Chief Marchand and family to San Diego. His wife, Marie, daughter, Ann Marie and two sons, David and Gerard Jr. with a new arrival son, Leo Paul born in 1950, was on the way. Daughter, Linda Sue and two sons, Patrick Jay and Michael Richard were born in the years following the families' arrival in San Diego. Various naval assignments including, a tour as a French interpreter and attaché in French Indochina (Vietnam), occupied Chief Marchand until his retirement from service in 1961. Jerry returned to civilian life and shortly began working on the then new, Atlas missile program located at Kearny Mesa. Several years later Jerry transferred to the Civil Service and a position with Naval Command San Diego. Jerry assisted in reconditioning communications equipment used aboard surplus Naval ships, awaiting transfer to allied countries. Jerry Retired from the United States Civil Service in 1979. Jerry enjoyed a number of hobbies and pastimes in retirement sailing, wood working and dancing. Jerry's memberships include the, Old-timers communications group, Fleet Naval Association, San Diego Naval Sailing Club, Polaris Sailing Club, Midway Carrier Association and the Star of India, Maritime Museum of San Diego. Chief Marchand, Sailor/Patriot, Jerry Marchand, Husband, Father, Grandfather, and Great- Grandfather. "Moxie" friend and companion. Dad you will be greatly missed by all of us, Rest in Peace in the arms of God. Services will be held on Friday, February 20th, at 11:00 a.m. at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. A lunch-eon Celebration of Jerry's life will be held following services. Please contact the family for luncheon details. Donations may be made to the USO or The Warrior Foundation Send checks to: Navy League (The Warrior Foundation) 2115 Park Blvd. San Diego, CA 92101.
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Webmaster's Notes: Gerard Maurice Marchand enlisted in the US Navy V3 program September 13, 1937 at Lynn, MA, service #400 56 66. He was received aboard the Destroyer, USS Sigsbee DD-502 February 1, 1943 from Receiving Station Brooklyn, NY as RM2c. Gerard Marchand served aboard the DD-502 with pride and honor two years, one month and eight days. He was transferred to the USS Admiral R E Coontz March 8, 1945 at Ulithi Atoll for further transfer to Comdespac. Jerry attended the first USS Sigsbee West Coast Reunion in Sacramento, CA in June 2001. He also attended the change of command meeting of USS Sigsbee Veterans with Commanding Officer Mike McCartney aboard the USS Chung-Hoon DDG-93 at San Diego, CA October 26, 2008. While in San Diego Jerry acquired tickets for our group of 6 to tour the Aircraft Carrier USS Midway. He was a good friend and shipmate, admired by all who knew him. Our thoughts and prayers go out for the Marchand family..............Billy Roberts