Captain Samuel J. Ligon, Jr (1937-2011)


Captain Samuel J. Ligon, Jr., 73, died on 13 April 2011 in Greenville, NC following a severe stroke. He was born August 14, 1937 in Washington, DC to Samuel, Sr. and Maxine M. Ligon and attended Washington public schools, graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School. He received a Congressional appointment to the Naval Academy and graduated in 1959 with the 12th Company, earning a Bachelor of Science degree. He was “pitchman” for his company soccer team and participated enthusiastically in other intramural athletic activities. He was a lifelong fan of Navy sports and the Washington Redskins. After graduation he attended the Navy Supply Corps School in Athens, GA, was designated a Supply Corps officer and began a distinguished career in that specialty. He later attended the Naval Postgraduate School, where he earned a Master of Science degree in Computer Systems Management.

After Supply School, LTJG LIGON served in the High-Speed Transport USS COOK (APD-130) in the Pacific Fleet as Supply Officer. Following shore duty in Washington, he again served as Supply Officer for the Guided Missile Destroyer USS WADDELL (DDG-24), where he participated in naval gunfire support operations offshore South Vietnam in 1966, qualifying for the Vietnam Service Medal and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

His shore tours in Washington included duties in the Naval Purchasing Office and Naval Material Command. He was later assigned as Deputy Director, Aircraft Components Purchase Division of the Naval Air Systems Command, and Commanding Officer, Naval Regional Contracting Center, also in Washington. He was Director of the Regional Procurement Department of the Naval Supply Center, Norfolk. As a LCDR, Ligon served as Director, Office of Systems and Financial Management for the Defense Contract Administration Services Region in Atlanta, GA. He was the Director of the Purchase Department, Naval Supply Depot Subic Bay during the busy years of 1973 to 1975, traveling extensively to obtain foodstuffs and other supplies for the Seventh Fleet. He completed his career by returning to Atlanta as Commander, Defense Contract Administration Services Region, covering the eight southeastern states, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. He retired in 1986 as a Captain after 27 years of service. During his shore tours, Captain Ligon developed specialties in procurement and government contract administration, serving in assignments of increasing responsibility and receiving several significant awards.

In addition to decorations for sea duty off Vietnam, Captain Ligon was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Joint Services Commendation Medal. He was also awarded the Humanitarian Service Medal.

In post-retirement, Captain Ligon worked in procurement and contracting for private government contractors in Virginia and Georgia.

In 2003 he married his present wife Virginia (nee Pledger), a Norfolk, VA native from a Navy family. They moved from Raleigh, NC to Greenville, where Sam enjoyed retirement as member of the Pitt Golden “K” Kiwanis Club, participating in many volunteer activities. He delivered “Meals on Wheels,” tutored children in a local elementary school and “rang the bell” for the Salvation Army at holiday times, where he became known as “the man with the smile.” Throughout his days, Sam was a happy, cheerful and enthusiastic person, and assisted myriad friends, relatives and others in many ways.

Captain Ligon is survived by his wife Virginia, his daughter Samantha M. Stenger of Atlanta, son Colin A. Ligon of Fairfax, VA, granddaughter Tiffany A. Stenger, three stepchildren and a total of eight step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held on 17 April at the Wilkerson Funeral Chapel in Greenville. Captain Ligon was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday, August 8 with full military honors. Condolences may be sent to Virginia Ligon and family at P. O. Box 30724 Greenville, NC 27833.

Shipmates having memories, photos or mementoes of Captain Ligon’s service as Waddell’s Supply Officer are invited to contact Virginia at