Blake Wayne Van Leer

Blake Wayne Van Leer (a.k.a. Blake W. Van Leer) (January 13, 1926 October 3, 1997) was a prominent United States Navy officer and the son of Georgia Institute of Technology‘s president Blake R Van Leer and women’s rights activist Ella Lillian Wall Van Leer.[1]

Blake Wayne Van Leer
Commander in the United States Navy
Personal details
Born (1926-01-13)January 13, 1926
Berkeley, California
Died October 3, 1997(1997-10-03) (aged 71)
Arlington, Virginia
Resting place Arlington National Cemetery
Children 3
Relatives Blake R Van Leer(father)
Ella Lillian Wall Van Leer(mother)
Maryly Van Leer Peck(sister)
Anthony Wayne(great-great-uncle)
Alma mater Princeton University
Duke University
North Carolina State University
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Awards Moreell Medal
Legion of Merit
The Peltier Award
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Branch/service United States Navy
Years of service 1943-1971
Rank Captain, Commander
Commands Seabees
Battles/wars World War II
Vietnam War

. . . Blake Wayne Van Leer . . .

Van Leer was born in Berkeley, California on the 13th of January in 1926 and one of three children. He was part of a prominent academic and military family; his father Blake R Van Leer was a colonel and university president, his mother a Technologist and principal draftswoman in the Quartermaster general‘s research department. Van Leer is a descendant of the Van Leer family. His paternal fourth great-grandfather was Samuel Van Leer and fourth great-granduncle General Anthony Wayne who both played an important role in the American Revolutionary War.[2] Van Leer attended Needham B. Broughton High School, studied at North Carolina State University and received a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University. He later obtained a Civil Engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, graduated from the Joint Forces Staff College and has a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from Princeton University.[3]

In 1943, Van Leer enlisted in the Navy and held several prominent positions in the United States Navy. He quickly rose to the rank of a Lieutenant Commander and later a Commander of the construction Battalion known as the Seabees. As a commander, Van Leer led numerous engineering projects for the Navy during the Vietnam War and was later promoted to Captain.[4] in 1966 he led the SeaBee $100 million project for Military development and readiness and later received the Legion of Merit award.[5][6]

In 1969, Van Leer received the Moreell Medal, this medal is presented for outstanding contribution to military engineering by a civilian or military member of the U.S. Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps [7]

Capt. Blake Van Leer (center) launching Seabee STINGER program

In 1969, Van Leer created the well known Seabee “STINGER” system (Seabee Tactical Installed Navy Generated Engineering Resource), which is designed to quickly facilitate the development of troops, construction and resources efficiently during wartime. In 1970, Van Leer was assigned to Fegley Glacier to lead the nuclear research and power unit at McMurdo Station during Operation Deep Freeze.[8][9] Van Leer lead the construction and opening of Naval Radio Transmitter Facility LaMoure, which is uses a former OMEGA Navigation System station as a VLF transmitter for communications with the US submarine fleet.[10]

. . . Blake Wayne Van Leer . . .

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. . . Blake Wayne Van Leer . . .

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