Assistant Secretary of the Navy Dennis McGinn visited our RI Aviation Hall of Fame’s USS JFK Project HQ on December 15, 2016, and spent two hours meeting with board members, volunteers and supporters. He led a wide-ranging discussion about options for preserving the aviation and naval history of Rhode Island and the region. Naval Aviator McGinn, a retired Vice Admiral, was the last CO of USS Ranger and former CO of Third Fleet.
During his visit, Secretary McGinn also presented RIAHOF President Frank Lennon with The Navy Superior Civilian Service Medal. That is the highest honorary award the Chief of Naval Operations or the Commandant of the Marine Corps may bestow on a civilian. The award, signed by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, cited Lennon’s efforts “…as an ardent promoter of Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island’s naval heritage and a potent advocate for the U.S. Navy and naval aviation…Mr. Lennon ‘s exemplary leadership, tenacity, and unmatched passion for the U.S. Navy and naval aviation were instrumental to the resounding success of countless initiatives that significantly advanced the public’s understanding of the enormous contribution of the Navy to the defense of the country.”