John Linnon

Retired United States Coast Guard Rear Admiral John L. Linnon of East Falmouth, whose military service spanned 40 years, died June 15. He was 84.

A native of Hartford, Connecticut, he was commissioned through the Coast Guard Officer Candidate School program after several years of enlisted service and went on to serve aboard seven ships, commanding three.

While under his command the Honolulu-based high-endurance cutter Munro participated in two memorable missions: the two-month underwater search for the wreckage of Korean Airlines Flight 007 after it was shot down by the Soviet Union over the Sea of Japan and the crash in 1996 of TWA Flight 800 off the south shore of Long Island, New York.

His first assignment as a flag officer was as commander of Joint Task Force Five in Alameda, California, the US Pacific Command’s center for provision of Department of Defense support to civilian counter-drug agencies. The high-level assignment required extensive travel to Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Mexico and Alaska.

Admiral Linnon’s assignments ashore included chief of the Coast Guard Officer Candidate School Branch at Reserve Training Center in Yorktown, Virginia, and the first Coast Guard liaison officer to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In addition, he served as assistant chief of staff for operations for Commander Atlantic Area and as the chief of staff of the Coast Guard’s 7th District in Miami.

He finished out his career with his 1994 assignment as commander of USCG 1st District headquarters in Boston, where he had oversight of all Coast Guard operations in New England, New York, and a portion of the New Jersey coast. He retired from the Coast Guard in July 1997.

Admiral Linnon was a surface operations specialist. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, two defense Superior Service Medals, two Legions of Merit, three Meritorious Service Medals and five Coast Guard Commendation Medals.

After retiring to East Falmouth in 1997, he served as a member of William D. Delahunt’s 10th Congressional District Service Academy Selection Committee.

He was interviewed by the Enterprise for a Veterans Spotlight feature in October 2018.

He leaves his former wife, Beth E. Linnon of East Falmouth; a brother, Michael Linnon of Kensington, Connecticut; a son, Richard Linnon of Newington, Connecticut; two daughters, Susan Linnon of Mobile, Alabama, and Peggy Bourque of Farmington, New Hampshire; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

No services are planned.

His ashes will be interred at Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.

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