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Frank S. Haak, Navy rear admiral

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Thursday, February 17, 2011; 7:08 PM

Frank S. Haak, 86, a retired Navy rear admiral who commanded an aircraft carrier during the Vietnam War, died Jan. 21 of pneumonia at the Mount Vernon Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Alexandria. He had been an Alexandria resident since 1973.

Early in his naval career in the 1940s, Adm. Haak commanded minesweepers in Vietnam and China. After becoming a naval aviator in 1949, he led a Heavy Attack Squadron Eight in Washington state in the early 1960s.

In 1967 and 1968, he commanded the dock-landing ship USS Point Defiance during Vietnam. Later in the war, from 1970 to 1972, Adm. Haak was commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany.

His final active-duty assignment was as director of the Navy Information Systems division in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon. He retired in 1976.

His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star and the Meritorious Service Medal.

Frank Sutherland Haak was born in Lebanon, Pa. After high school, he attended Bullis School, then a naval preparatory school in Silver Spring. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1946. He received a master's degree in operations analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., in 1954.

His marriage to Noradee Houser Haak ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 17 years, Kirsten Gregorie Haak of Alexandria; four children from his first marriage, Frank S. Haak Jr. of Gresham, Ore., Bruce Haak of Eagle, Idaho, Ellen H. Kessler of Lompoc, Calif., and Bradford Haak of Great Falls; four step-sons, Erik Gregorie of Sayre, Pa., and Stephen Gregorie, Stewart Gregorie and Alan Gregorie, all of Atlanta; 15 grandchildren; and 10 great-great-grandchildren.

- Lauren Wiseman

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