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Thomas D. Davies


Retired Rear Adm. Thomas D. Davies, a former naval aviator and expert in arms control and exploration, died Jan. 21 vacationing on the island of St. Martin in the Caribbean.

A memorial service for Adm. Davies, who was 76 and lived in Potomac, will be held at the Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis Wednesday at 11 a.m.

A 1937 graduate of the Naval Academy, Adm. Davies had a long and varied naval career.

An exploration enthusiast, Adm. Davies invented the sky compass -- a device used for navigating near the earth's magnetic poles -- while serving on the staff of the late Adm. Richard E. Byrd.

Adm. Davies also led a major investigation of the late Adm. Robert E. Peary's claim of reaching the North Pole. Adm. Davies' wrote a widely publicized article for National Geographic Magazine in January 1990 that concluded that Peary had indeed reached his goal.

Adm. Davies received two Distinguished Service Crosses, one for sinking a German submarine during World War II and one for a record-breaking distance flight from Perth, Australia, to Columbus, Ohio, in a Navy P2V Neptune. He held several posts with the Navy, eventually serving as chief of naval development. He retired from the Navy in 1973 to serve as assistant director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, leading two delegations in negotiations with the Soviet Union.

Adm. Davies is survived by his wife, Eloise English Davies of Potomac; four children, Thomas D. Davies Jr. of Annapolis, Douglas Davies of Potomac, Ronald Davies of Palo Alto, Calif., and Meredith Davies of Chestertown, Md.; and four grandchildren.

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