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Old 08-05-09, 11:55 AM   #1
Onkel Neal
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Very sad day: Capt. Zeb Alford passes away

I cannot tell you how much he will be missed. Capt. Zeb was a fine man, he served as a Captain of two subs in the US Navy. He was a founder and catalyst for the Cavalla restoration. He was one of the first Cavalla men I interviewed in 1997 and he was the guest speaker at the 2004 Subsim Meet in Galveston. Most of all, he was my friend.

Salute. Zeb, you will be missed.


Zeb D. Alford
Zeb was born in McComb, Mississippi, in 1925. After graduating from McComb High School in January 1943, he joined the Navy the next day and attended LSU for one semester. He started his Navy career as a seaman apprentice in the V-12program at Tulane University on July1, 1943, and entered the Naval Academy in 1944.

After graduation inl947, he served as an Ensign aboard USS Charles R. Ware, an Atlantic Fleet destroyer. After graduation from Submarine School in 1949, he served aboard three diesel submarines and three nuclear submarines.

Zeb joined the nuclear Navy in 1958when selected by Admiral Rickover, the father of the nuclear Navy. After nuclear school, his first nuclear assignment, as Executive Officer, was building and commissioning a new nuclear prototype in Connecticut. He was Executive Officer and commissioned the first nuclear submarine designed to find and kill other nuclear submarines, USS Tullibee. Every new class of nuclear attack submarines built since then has included updated versions of the active and passive sonar systems and the sound quieting methods of Tullibee. He attended Charm School (Admiral Rickover’s staff) for six months; then, as a Lieutenant Commander, here reported in 1962 as Commanding Officer of the nuclear attack submarine USS Shark. Shark was the first class of single screw, whale-shaped, high-speed, nuclear submarines. She was the fastest submarine ever built at that time.
As a Navy Commander in 1965, he became the Commanding Officer of the Polaris nuclear submarine USS Sam Houston. He became Executive Assistant to the Undersecretary of the Navy (now Senator John Warner[R-Va.]).

Zeb attended the National War College in 1970-71 and reported as Commanding Officer, Guantanamo Bay Naval Station, Cuba, in 1971.

Zeb retired from the Navy in September 1973.Zeb’s second career has been in energy. Since entering this field he has become President of three different energy companies. In 1984 Zeb married Joan Chasan of Houston, Texas, and Long Island, New York. He has four grown daughters from a previous marriage.

In 1985 he started a new company, Dolphin Energy, Inc., and began to market natural gas to major utilities on both coasts.

Zeb was active in tennis, the Navy League, the Naval Academy Alumni Association, the Naval Order, and the Republican Party. He was elected a delegate to the state party conventions in 1996, 2000, and 2004. He was elected a member of the Texas Electoral College that met in Austin, Texas, in December1996.

In 1999 Zeb became Chairman of the Cavalla Historical Foundation, which raised money to restore the WW-II submarine USS Cavalla (SSK 244) and theDE-238 USS Stewart, both located at SEAWOLF PARK, Galveston Bay, Texas. Today they both have been restored and are open to the public for visits.

Tuesday evening, Aug 4, Capt. Zeb passed away after he suffered a heart attack Sunday evening and hitting his head on the tennis court.

Zeb had just returned from attending the Change of Command of the USS TEXAS and delivering the eulogy at Dave Hinkles (Sonalysts forunder) funeral. Zeb and Dave had served together on Cavalla SSK. Zeb also served as aid to Warner and Lehman. He remained an active and cheerful individual frequently speaking about Submarines, keeping up to date on Submarine technology and when he spoke, he always pointed out that the true Capital Ship of the U.S. Navy was the submarine, not some target.

Together We Served link

Zeb and Patti Alford

Vacation of the Virgin Islands

Daughters and grandaughter

Patti and Zeb aboard USS Cavalla, Seawolf Park

Joan and Zeb's wedding day

2004 Cavalla Reunion

Capt. Zeb presents a plaque made from the deck to longtime Cavalla supporter, George Strake
Also pictured (left to right): Neal Stevens, Gil Raynor, Ron Smith

At the 2000 Cavalla reunion
Zeb Alford, Zeke Zellmer, & Bill Friedman

L-R: Zeb Alford, _ _ _, Zeke Zellmer, Ruth Rankin, Jim Rankin, Beverly Friedman, Bill Friedman

Capt. Zeb was the guest speaker at the 2004 Subsim Meet
in Seawolf Park. Also pictured, Cavalla curator Chief John McMichael

Capt. Zeb viewing submarine simulations for the computer.
Also pictured, Enigma producer Kelly Asay and Rebel.
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Last edited by Onkel Neal; 08-20-09 at 04:40 PM. Reason: added info, pictures
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Old 08-05-09, 11:59 AM   #2
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Gone but, Not Forgotten.

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Old 08-05-09, 12:01 PM   #3
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Thank his familiy for his service !

Rest In Peace.
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Old 08-05-09, 12:01 PM   #4
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I didn't know the man, but if he touched as many people as he did Neal, he will be missed. God's speed Zeb Alford.
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Old 08-05-09, 12:06 PM   #5
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Thanks for the service to country and to keeping boats like Cavalla as a living memorial to all who served.

Rest in peace.
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Old 08-05-09, 12:07 PM   #6
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Back in the Day

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Old 08-05-09, 12:27 PM   #7
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May he rest in peace

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Old 08-05-09, 12:29 PM   #8
Sailor Steve
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That is really sad. Now I'm doubly grateful that I got to sit next to the man and swap stories with him in Houston.
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Old 08-05-09, 12:30 PM   #9
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RIP sir.
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Old 08-05-09, 12:33 PM   #10
Takeda Shingen
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We thank him for his service and hope that he will find rest.
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Old 08-05-09, 02:13 PM   #11
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I'm grateful for his service and all he's done for the Cavalla. Rest in peace.
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Old 08-05-09, 03:00 PM   #12
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Truely sad day. Like sailor steve said, it was an honor to meet him.
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Old 08-05-09, 03:10 PM   #13
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Anyone Neal and my friends speak highly of is more than good enough for me.

RIP Sir.
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Old 08-05-09, 03:11 PM   #14
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my condolences to all all who knew him, loved him and served with him.

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Old 08-05-09, 05:18 PM   #15
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Rest in peace Captain Zeb
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