Lieutenant Commander, United States Navy
Of District Heights, Maryland, a World War II Naval veteran and former boxing champion, died on September 4, 2001 at the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home. He was 95 years old and died of natural causes.
During his years in the Navy, Joe was responsible for an important mine sweeping mission in the South Pacific to facilitate the safe passage of U.S. warships, before becoming the Skipper of the Presidential Yacht for President Roosevelt.
Upon retirement from the Service he received this letter from James Forrestal, the Secretary of the Navy;
My Dear Mr. Turner,
I have addressed this letter to reach you after all the formalities of your separation from active service are completed. I have done so because, without formality but as clearly as I know how to say it, I want the Navy's pride in you, which it is my privilege to express, to reach into your civil life and to remain with you always.
You have served in the greatest Navy in the world. It crushed two enemy fleets at once, receiving their surrenders only four months apart. It brought our land-based airpower within bombing range of the enemy, and set our ground armies on the beachheads of final victory. It performed the multitude of tasks necessary to support these military operations.
No other Navy at any time has done so much. For your part in these achievements you deserve to be proud as long as you live. The Nation which you served at a time of crisis will remember you with gratitude.
The best wishes of the Navy go with you into civilian life. Good luck!
Joe will be buried with Full Military Honors at Arlington National Cemetery on October 3, 2001. He was a man of honor, strength and integrity. He is survived by daughter, Kathalynn, son-in-law, Rob, son, Donald, and grandchildren, Vanessa, Courtney, Caitlin and Genevieve, and will be greatly missed by family, neighbors and friends.
God speed Joe.