Joseph A. Fernald Sr.
Commander Joseph A. Fernald Sr. died on June 14, 2011, inGulfport.
Cmdr. Fernald was born on Aug. 26, 1921, in Boston, Mass., toAlonzo and Josephine Fernald. He attended St. Williams School andhigh school at the Boston Latin School, where he excelled inacademics, sports and music. He was selected along with fellowclassmate Leonard Bernstein to play in the Boston Junior SymphonyOrchestra while a student at Boston Latin.
In 1939, he entered Northeastern University to study engineering.Subsequently, in 1940, he received an appointment to the UnitedStates Naval Academy at Annapolis as a member of the Class of1944.
Cmdr. Fernald graduated in 1943 under the accelerated academicprogram due to the needs for officers to serve in World War II.Upon graduation, he volunteered for and was accepted into theSubmarine Service and completed training at New London, Conn. Hereceived further training at Pensacola, Fla., for gunnery andcovert submariner operations.
He served in the Pacific from the fall of 1943 until the end ofhostilities in 1945, participating in covert operations in advanceof the invasion of Pelilieu, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and mainlandJapan.
At the conclusion of the war, Cmdr. Fernald served in various postsbefore transferring to the Supply Corps. He was selected to serveas a supply officer for Operation Deep Freeze in 1955 and spent1956 organizing supply for the United States Navy bases at McMurdoSound and Little America for the Navy’s expedition to the SouthPole as part of the International Geophysical Year.
He was stationed at the South Pole in 1957 and 1958 at McMurdoSound where he coordinated the supply operations. While at thePole, he was one of a group of officers who accompanied AdmiralRichard Byrd on his last ceremonial flight to the South Pole andlater served as a pallbearer at Adm. Byrd’s funeral.
Upon return to the United States, Cmdr. Fernald received anappointment to the United States Navy Postgraduate School inMonterrey, Calif. He completed his studies in 1961, earning hisMaster of Business Administration degree. In 1962, he was appointedas supply officer at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where he remaineduntil his retirement in 1964.
In 1964, he assumed the duties of production control manager forBurndy Corporation in Norwalk, Conn. He later attended theUniversity of Southern Mississippi, where he earned his master’sdegree in Education. Upon graduation, he taught mathematics in theLong Beach School System until he retired.
Cmdr. Fernald is survived by his wife, Vera, of Saucier; hisdaughter, Barbara Venuti, of Bedford, Mass.; his son, JosephFernald, of Brookhaven; and his stepsons, Paul Kozakiewicz, of SanFrancisco, Calif., Peter Kozakiewicz, of Nashville, Tenn., andPerry Kozakiewicz, of Saucier; and numerous grandchildren andgreat-grandchildren.
Visitation will be on Friday, June 17, at Bradford-O’Keefe FuneralHome on O’Neil Road in Gulfport from 6 until 8 p.m. Visitation willcontinue at the funeral home at 9 a.m. on Saturday until servicesbegin at 10 a.m.
Memorials may be made to Boy Scout Troop 119 Scholarship Fund atFirst United Methodist Church in Brookhaven.