Cover photo for Robert Fargo's Obituary
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1926 Robert 2017

Robert Fargo

March 1, 1926 — November 1, 2017

Robert Ray Fargo, 91, of Pensacola passed away on Wednesday, November 1, 2017. Robert Ray Fargo was born in Springfield, Illinois on March 1, 1926, the son of Colonel Wells and Betty (Ray) Fargo. He was raised in Portland, Oregon and was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1944 by Senator Charles McNary (R-Ore). Upon graduation on June 6, 1947, with the Class of 1948A, he was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy. He subsequently advanced to the rank of Captain, USN, to date from July 1, 1968.
Captain Fargo was a Submarine Qualified Engineering Duty Officer with extensive experience in submarine design, construction, conversion and repair.
Following graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1947, he served aboard the USS RUPERTUS (DD-851) as Operations Officer and Assistant Chief Engineer in the Pacific area. From 1949 to 1952 he did graduate work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and upon graduation was awarded the advance professional degree of Naval Engineer and was designated an Engineering Duty Officer. From 1952 to 1953 he served as Assistant Design Officer in the office of the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, USN, at the Electric Boat Company in Groton, CT. He was involved in the design of the USS NAUTILUS (SSN-571), the USS SEA WOLF (SSN-575), the SS-563 Class fast attack submarines, and the T Class submarines. During the period of 1954 to 1955, he was Resident Supervisor of Shipbuilding at Fairchild Engine Division in Farmingdale, Long Island, NY., for the construction of the USS X-1 (SSX-1), an experimental hydrogen peroxide propelled, miniature submarine. Following delivery of this ship in Sept. 1955, he reported to the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard as Ship Superintendent (Submarines) for the next three years.
After working two years in the POLARIS program in the Bureau of Ships, he was ordered to the office of Supervisor of Shipbuilding, USN, Newport News, VA. From 1960 to 1961 he was an Assistant Inspection Officer (Submarines) concerned with the construction of the USS SAM HOUSTON (SSBN-609), USS JOHN MARSHALL (SSBN-611), and the USS THOMAS JEFFERSON (SSBN-618). In 1961, he became the Submarine Project Officer for all submarines under construction by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company.
In the summer of 1963 following the loss of the USS THRESHER (SS-593), then Commander Fargo was chosen to head the Deep Recovery Section of the Deep Submergence Systems Review Group. In October of 1963 he reported to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, where his assignments included Senior Ship Superintendent for the construction of the USS JOHN ADAMS (SSBN-620), Assistant Shipbuilding and Repair Superintendent and Quality Assurance Officer. On 30, May 1968, he became Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair, USN, Pascagoula, Mississippi. For exceptional meritorious service as Supervisor of Shipbuilding in the contract administration of over 3 billion dollars of naval shipbuilding contracts, Captain Fargo was awarded the Legion of Merit. Upon completion of this tour of duty in September 1970, Captain Fargo returned to Washington, DC, to assume duties as Executive Director for Production, Naval Sea Systems Command.
From May 1973 until August 1975, he served as Commander Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Philadelphia, PA. In September 1975, he reported to the Staff of the Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic, Norfolk Virginia, and served first as the Deputy and then as the Fleet Maintenance Officer/Assistant Chief of Staff for Maintenance and Material Readiness. Upon his retirement in June 1977, he was awarded the Legion of Merit for exceptional meritorious service as Fleet Maintenance Officer.
In addition to the Legion of Merit with Gold Star, Captain Fargo has been decorated by the Shah of Iran with the Iranian Order of the Lion and Sun. His campaign and service awards include the China Service Medal, World War Two Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, Navy Occupation (Asia) Medal and the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star.
Captain Fargo was predeceased by his wife of 46 years, Martha Turner Fargo, his parents Colonel Wells and Betty (Ray) Fargo, his sisters Emma Lou and Betty Jeane. He leaves behind his three children, Robert R. Fargo Jr., Manassas VA; Sandi Kurkjy, Old Orchard Beach, ME; Leslie Schwab, Colleyville TX; seven grandchildren, Kimberly Payden, Kristen Gryczewski, Samantha Kurkjy, Mark Kurkjy, John Schwab, Tim Schwab and Katherine Schwab; five great-grandsons and two great-granddaughters.
Arrangements are with Rose Lawn Funeral Home of Gulf Breeze. Service will be held at a later date with interment in Barrancas National Cemetery, Pensacola Florida.


Barrancas National Cemetery/ NAS Pensacola
1 Cemetery Road
Pensacola, FL  32507
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