Sasebo stop brings retiring admiral's career full circle
June 17, 2005
SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Adm. Walter F. Doran, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said at a breakfast Wednesday that since Sasebo was one of his first stops in Japan during his career, it seemed fitting that Sasebo be his final stop in Japan before his retirement.
The breakfast, sponsored by the Sasebo Council of the Navy League and attended by about 150 council members and guests, culminated a month of visits in Japan by Doran, including stops in Sapporo and Yokosuka.
Doran is scheduled to turn over command of the Pacific Fleet, comprising the 3rd and 7th fleets, and retire July 8 after 35 years of service.
“Can you believe it?” Doran said, gesturing toward his wife, Ginny. “It really has been 35 years. We really are retiring.”
Doran’s connections to Japan include service as commander of Amphibious Group One and Amphibious Force 7th Fleet from Okinawa in the 1990s. He returned to Japan a few years later as commander of 7th Fleet from Yokosuka Naval Base.
“The Navy League is honored that you chose to spend some of your final stop in Japan here in Sasebo with us,” Jerry Havens, Sasebo council president, told Doran.
In brief remarks, Doran said Shelia McNeil, U.S. Navy League Council president, had informed him of the council’s activities in support of sailors.
“And as soon as I retire, I’ll be joining Navy League myself,” he added. “You can consider the check in the mail.”