Retired Navy Rear Adm. Lawrence Randall Daspit, 73, a submarine officer who was a decorated veteran of World War II and the Korean conflict, died Saturday at his home in Arlington. He had cancer.
He served as commanding officer of the submarine Tinosa in the Pacific during 1943. During this time the Tinosa won a Presidential Unit Citation and Adm. Daspit was awarded the Navy Cross and two Bronze Star medals. He commanded a subamarine division and then was assigned to the Navy Department's bureau of ships.
During the Korean conflict he was commanding officer of the cruiser Los Angeles. He earned the Legion of Merit for his participation in combat operations in the Korean Theater in 1952 to 1953.
Adm. Daspit later was chief of the Navy section of the military assistance advisory group in Japan, served with an armed forces special weapons project in New Mexico, and commanded a crusier division. He became director of undersea warfare in the office of the chief of naval operations in 1958.
In 1960, Adm. Daspit joined the Atlantic Fleet and served as deputy commander and commander of the submarine force. Two years later, he became commander of the Naval base at Charleston, S.C.
Following his retirement from the Navy in 1967, he worked for five years as executive secretary of the engineering division of the National Academy of Sciences before retiring for reasons of health in 1973.
Adm. Daspit was a native of Houma, La. He was in 1927 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. He earned a master's degree at the University of California at Berkeley.
Prior to World War II, Adm. Daspit served aboard destroyers, cruisers, battleships, and submarines.
He is survived by his wife, Marjorie, of the home; two daughters, Caroline D. Klam of Arlington, and Dana, of Charlottesville; two sons, Frank, of Washington, and Navy Lt. j.g. Peter R., serving in the Mediterranean with the Sixth Fleet; two sisters, Dorothy Daspit and Elizabeth Seal, both of New Orleans, and two grandchildren.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society of the Northern Virginia Hospice, P.O. Box 1590, Arlington, 22210. CAPTION: Picture, LAWRENCE RANDALL DASPIT