Geoffrey C. Payton

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Geoffrey C. Payton
Geoffrey C. Payton
Geoffrey was born to Penny and Robert
Payton of Creston, Illinois. He attended Creston
Grade School and graduated from Rochelle Twp
High School in 1988. After graduation, he worked
at Alloyd Corporation in DeKalb.
He enlisted in the United States (avy and
reported on May 21, 1992, to Great Lakes (aval
Base-Chicago for basic training. He was assigned to
Company 117, Division 15 training group. Upon
graduation, he was given orders to report to
(orfolk, Virginia.
His job specialty was Aircraft Director and
was assigned to the ship LHA-2, USS Saipan. This
was a very formidable ship as it carried a full
contingent plus a reinforced battalion of marines,
capable of launching a strike against the enemy
both vertically and by sea. It was poised in designated areas at sea where they
would be on call at a very short notice. He was part of the Mediterranean
Amphibious Readiness Group (MARG) 2-93 under Joint Command Task Force 6,
Atlantic Fleet.
His overseas duty included a six months tour of duty in the Med which
involved the countries of Spain, Greece, Turkey, Italy and the Middle East. In
addition, the ship operated off the coast of Africa monitoring Somalia. He was also
involved in several training and observation missions in the Gulf of Mexico and off
the coast of Belize, Central America. Afterwards, the ship reported to dry dock for
retrofit in 1995. Jeff finished his tour during the revitalization.
Geoff’s job was that of Aircraft Director aboard the USS Saipan. His main
duties associated with this rate were the movement of aircraft from the hangar bay
to the flight deck and vice versa during air operations. This also included securing
all aircraft in the hangar deck when not in operations. He was also qualified for
launch and recovery evolutions from the fight deck. Geoff worked with many types
of aircraft including: CH-56 Echo, CH-53 Delta, AH-1 Cobra, UH-1 Huey, UH-60
Blackhawk, and the AV8B Harriers. He also participated in test flights for the V-22
Osprey.
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His secondary duties included Shipboard Fire Fighter, Aircraft Crash and
Rescue, Shipboard Self Defense Force (Police) and Aircraft Fire Watch
Coordinator.
He also served as Divisional Supply Officer and Divisional
Maintenance Officer. He received the (avy/Marine Corps Meritorious Service
Award for excellence in these areas.
On May 21, 1996, Geoff was discharged from active duty and on April 8,
2000, he received his discharge for the U.S. (aval Reserves. He returned to Lee,
Illinois, and then to Creston where he and his family reside. He married Dana on
August 21, 1992 in Sycamore, Illinois, and they have two children; Kyle Talbot and
Christina Grace.
Geoff positioning Helicopter on elevator
Geoff moving Harrier into position
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