Francis Eugene Somers
Captain, United States Navy
Central Intelligence Officer
Retired Navy Captain Francis Eugene Somers, 85, a longtime resident of Annapolis and Bethesda, Maryland, died of natural causes October 11, 2003, at Anne Arundel Medical Center after a long illness.
Captain Somers was born in Cowley County, Kansas, on July 19, 1918, and graduated from the Naval Academy with the Class of 1941.
During World War II he served on several destroyers, including convoy escort in the North Atlantic, amphibious landings in North Africa and Sicily and in the South Pacific in support of carrier and landing operations in the Marshall and Gilbert Islands and in the Battle of the Philippine Sea.
He transfered to Naval Reserve status in 1947. During the Korean War he was recalled to active duty and participated in developing and testing nuclear weapons at the Naval Ordnance Laboratory and Nevada Proving Grounds.
In 1955, he began working for the Office of Scientific Intelligence for the Central Intelligence Agency and later was chief of plans and programs in the new directorate of science and technology. In London, he was deputy chief of station working with the British on technical intelligence. He was subsequently stationed at Edwards Air Force Base, working on projects involving the U-2 spyplane.
After returning to Washington, he was the CIA's chief of plans and programs for a joint project with the Navy to recover a sunken Soviet submarine in the Pacific.
At one point, he was stationed in Vietnam for the CIA until U.S. military forces withdrew in 1973.
After his retirement from the CIA, he worked for Booz Allen Hamilton as a consultant on national security matters until 1987. He then joined USATREX International to work on formation of a new division at the State Department. He retired again in 1999.
During his career he received numerous citations, including the CIA Intelligence Medal for Honorable Service and the CIA Career Intelligence Medal for Exceptional Achievement.
Capt. Somers was a member of the Annapolis Yacht Club and the Army-Navy Club in Washington, the Naval Academy Alumni Association and the Military Order of the Carabao. He served on the executive council of the Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference and was past president of the Wardour Improvement Association.
Surviving are his wife of 43 years, Ann Kelsey Somers; his sons, Michael K. Somers of Staunton, Va., John V. Kelsey of Chevy Chase, Brian R. Kelsey of Bethesda and Robert D. Somers of Edmond, Okla.; his daughters, Mary Kathleen Dunsmore of Grand Terrace, Calif., Suzanne Kelsey Malloy of South Norwalk, Conn., and Julia L. Widman of Great Falls, Va.; 16 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
His first wife, Gail Tyler Koss Somers, died in 1958, and his first son, Eugene Tyler Somers, died of polio at age 7 in 1949.
Visitation is from 6 to 8 p.m. tomorrow at Taylor Funeral Home, 147 Duke of Gloucester St. Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Naval Academy Chapel. Participants should park at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and ride the shuttle bus to academy. Burial will be at 9 a.m. Nov. 24 in Arlington National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions
may be made to the Naval Academy Alumni Association, Attention: NAFAC,
247 King George St., Annapolis, MD 21402-5068.