Cdr. Henry J. Conger, USN (Ret).was born in Norman Park, GA, on May 11, 1916, to Isaac Young and Mary Willis Conger. He lived in Tifton, GA, and was a 1933 graduate of Tifton High School. Conger also attended Marion Military Institute from 1934-1935. In 1936 he enrolled in the U.S. Naval Academy and graduated with the Class of '41.
During the next four years, Conger served on the USS
Idaho, participating in the Atlantic Neutrality Patrol, as well as twelve major engagements in the south and northern Pacific, and on the USS
Tarawa. Conger also served on The Board of Inspections and Survey in Washington, D.C., and as Head of the Electrical Engineering Department at the U.S. Naval Academy. In addition, he was an executive officer on the USS
Porter and commanding officer on the destroyer USS
Laffey, DD-724, now home ported in Charleston, South Carolina. As commanding officer of the USS
Laffey, his ship received several citations for knocking out shore batteries in Wonsan Harbor during the longest ship-to-shore battle of the Korean War. Conger was awarded the Bronze Star with a "V" for valor for this engagement.
Conger retired from military service in 1961 and went on to obtain his Master's Degree in Physics and Mathematics from the College of William and Mary. He joined the Norfolk School System, where he taught physics at Norview High School. Conger retired from teaching in 1981 as head of the Science Department.
Conger was a member and Deacon of Royster Memorial Presbyterian Church, as well as a life member of the Retired Officers Association, the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association and the American Philatelic Society. He died in 2012 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Conger was survived by his wife, Greta Ginnuth Conger; a son, Capt. Michael Dewitt Conger, USN (Ret.); a daughter, Patricia Jean Noble and two grandchildren. Conger was predeceased by his first wife, Lois Jane Conger; a son, James Rodreick Conger; a brother, Dr. Preston Dewitt Conger, MD; and a sister, Elizabeth "Sister" Harris.