Former Downey resident retires from Navy

DOWNEY - Command Master Chief James D. Mathews, son of David and Nancy Mathews of Downey, was honored at his retirement ceremony aboard the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor on April 1.A former Downey resident, he joined the Navy in 1981. After completing basic training in San Diego, he went to Electronics Technician School in Great Lakes, Ill., where he graduated with honors. His first turn at sea duty was aboard the submarine tender USS Orion in La Maddalena, Italy, where he served as a test equipment repair technician. Subsequent tours at sea included the USS Emory S. Land, USS Mobile, USS Abraham Lincoln, USS Essex, USS Vandegrift and USS Mustin, where he was Command Master Chief. In between sea assignments, he served two tours as an instructor at Greak Lakes, where he earned the designation of Master Training Specialist and where he received his Chief Petty Officer insignia. He often said that one of his greatest pleasures was the opportunity to serve with some of his former students and see their progress. His final assignment was as Command Master Chief, Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station, Pacific, based in Wahiawa, Oahu. During this assignment, the unit won consecutive awards in 2009 and 2010 for efficiency achievement and retention. He has received the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (three times) and the Naval Achievement Medal (five awards). At his retirement ceremony, he was presented a flag that was raised and flown on the USS Arizona Memorial. He and his wife, Leanne, plan to continue living in their home on the north shore of Oahu.

********** Published: April 7, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 51