Commander Dempster McKee Jackson

Commanding Officer, 23 May 1970 to 23 October 1971

CDR D. M. Jackson


Commander Dempster M. JACKSON, a native of Southern California, attended the United States Naval Academy and was commissioned an Ensign in the U. S. Navy upon graduation in 1952. During that year he was a member of the Navy crew representing the United States at the Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland.

Commander Jackson’s first tour of duty was aboard the USS DEHAVEN (DD-727) serving as Main Propulsion and Damage Control Officer during the Korean conflict. His next assignment was CIC Officer and Regulus Missile Guidance Officer on the cruiser USS HELENA (CA-75). Using his guided missile experience, Commander JACKSON then served as the Navy Liaison Officer to the Army Ballistic Missile Agency in Huntsville, Alabama functioning as the Inertial Guidance Officer on the first FBM (Jupiter) Launch Team. Continuing in the missile field, he was next assigned to the Bureau of Ordnance in Washington, D. C. in 1957 as Test Officer for the Polaris project

Commander JACKSON assumed command of the USS SUMNER COUNTY (LST-1148) in June 1958. His two years of command were followed by a tour at the Navy Post Graduate school at Monterey, California where he studied Underwater Acoustics Engineering. Returning to sea in 1963, as Executive Officer and Navigator of the USS MADDOX (DD-737), Commander JACKSON was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V” when North Vietnamese motor-torpedo boats attacked that American destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin on 2 and 4 August 1964.

Commander JACKSON assumed command of the CHARLES BERRY (DE-1035) in February 1965 serving in that post for two years. For his service he was awarded his second Navy Commendation Medal. From March 1967 to March 1968, Commander JACKSON served as Operations Officer of the Naval Support Activity in Danang, Republic of Vietnam. For his timely action during the critical 1968 Tet Offensive, he was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat “V”.

Prior to his tour as Commanding Officer of KING, Commander JACKSON was Deputy Director of Systems Engineering at the Anti-Submarine Warfare Project Office in Washington, D. C.

After leaving the KING, JACKSON held a number of staff assignments dealing with antisubmarine warfare. His last two posts, before retiring from active duty in 1983 at the rank of Rear Admiral, were as commander of the antisubmarine warfare systems project with the Navy Materiel Command and as deputy commander of the combat systems directorate at the headquarters of Naval Sea Systems Command.

After retiring from the Navy, he did consulting work on undersea warfare projects and received an award from the National Defense Industrial Association. He also held the post of executive vice president of the Naval Undersea Museum at Keyport, Washington. He was a life member of the Surface Navy Association and the Sons of the American Revolution and was a member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants. His hobbies included restoring classic cars, and he was a member of the Model A Restorers Club.

Rear Admiral Dempster McKee Jackson passed away on April 3, 2001 and was laid to rest in the Arlington National Cemetery.