October 10, 1944 - April 25, 2019
RADM Henry F Herrera, USN (Ret.) died April 25, 2019 from Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 74. His wife, Ruth, was by his side. He was born in Miami Beach, FL October 10, 1944 to Graciella and Alfredo Herrera. His preschool years were spent in his grandfather’s home in Havana, Cuba while his father served in the US Army during WWII. After the war, the family moved to Miami Springs, FL. He received a congressional appointment to the United States Naval Academy in 1962 and graduated in 1966, part of the 24th company.
Following submarine and nuclear propulsion training from March 1968 to September 1983, he completed duty on submarines JAMES K. POLK (SSBN 645) (BLUE), SAND LANCE (SSN 660), VON STEUBEN (SSBN 632)(BLUE), AND SCULPIN (SSN590). He served in a variety of billets during this period, including Reactor Controls Officer, Main Propulsion Assistant, Engineer Officer, and Executive Officer. During the same period, he also completed tours of duty as Assistant Force Nuclear Power Officer on the Staff of Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, and as Executive Officer of the Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board, staff of Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.
He commanded LAFAYETTE (SSBN 616 BLUE) from 1984-1987 and MICHIGAN (SSBN 727 BLUE) from 1987- 1990. He completed 21 strategic deterrent patrols, entitling him to wear the Gold FBM Submarine Patrol Pin. From April 1990 to June 1991, he was Branch Head, Ballistic Missile Submarine Security Program, Office of the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations (Undersea Warfare). In October 1990, he received the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Professional Achievement-Government Award. In June 1991, he was assigned to the Joint Staff as Chief, Asia-Pacific Division in the Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate, J-5. Upon achieving flag rank, he served as Director Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence Systems, and as Airborne Emergency Actions Officer (AEAO) aboard Looking Glass Airborne National Command Posts at U.S. Strategic Command from April 1992 to July 1994.
From August 1994 to July 1995 he served as Commander Submarine Group 9 and Commander Submarine Force Representative Pacific Northwest, and as Commander, Naval Base Seattle, where he served as the Navy’s Regional Coordinator for Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. He also served as Commander, Northwest Regional Maintenance Center. His assignment at retirement in December 1997 was President of the Board of Inspection and Survey, Norfolk, VA. He was authorized to wear the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy Commendation Medal (two awards), the Navy Achievement Medal and the National Defense Service Medal with bronze star and several other personal and unit awards.
Following his Navy retirement he worked at Westinghouse Savannah River Company, Aiken, SC as Deputy General Manager, High Level Waste Management Division; Westinghouse TRU Solutions, LLC as President WTS/General Manager at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP); Executive VP Westinghouse Safety Management Solutions LLC and Westinghouse Savannah River Company Senior Manager, High Level Waste Division/Liquid Waste Disposition Project. He formally retired in 2004, enjoying golf, cruising and participating in MOAA activities in the Aiken area until 2017, then moving to Bedford, TX.
He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Ruth Underwood Herrera, his former spouse Clara Ann Reeve, daughter’s Suzanne (Jose) Estrada and Cynthia (Tom) Olsen, son Stephen Herrera, step daughter Sara (David) Cooper and three granddaughters: Julia, Brooklyn and Shelby. A memorial service will be held in July at the United State Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD. In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation may be made in his honor to ForcesUnited.org, Augusta, GA.
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