Paul Geddes Pennoyer Jr. was awarded the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism for Air Group 28. Attached to the U.S.S. Monterey, he was operating against major units of the Japanese fleet during the first battle of the Philippines Sea on June 20, 1944. At the age of 89, he died on Jan. 7, 2010 in Locust Valley. The cause was congestive heart failure his family said. Among his other awards during WWII was the air medal for meritorious air strikes in the Solomon Islands in June and July 1943. In lieu of his second medal, he was presented the Gold Star by Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal in September of 1944. As a pilot of the Torpedo Bombers, Pennoyer was awarded a second Gold Star. In lieu of a third air medal, Pennoyer was presented a Gold Star again with his achievement as pilot of a Torpedo Bomber in the Philippines May through December 1944. In March 1943, he spent a month crossing the Pacific on a supply ship with John F. Kennedy, who became a lifelong friend.
Lt. Pennoyer was the son of Frances Morgan Pennoyer and Paul Geddes Pennoyer of Locust Valley, where he spent his childhood. He graduated from St. Paul’s School, Harvard University and Harvard Law School. Upon graduation, he joined the Law Firm of Bigham, Englar Jones & Houston where he created the Aviation Department. He later became a partner and principal litigator at Chadbourne, Parke, Whiteside & Wolf. He spent the next 30 years with that firm trying lawsuits from Anti Trust to Securities to Federal Agency cases. He retired in 1992.
Mr. Pennoyer was a varsity oarsman on the undefeated Harvard Crew in 1941. He loved skiing and sailing with his family. He is survived by Cecily Pennoyer, his wife of 61 years, his children, Jen Emerson of Concord, MA, Deirdre Nadai and Paul T. Pennoyer of Essex, MA, Sheldon Pennoyer of Greenfield, NH, William Pennoyer of Frankfurt, Germany and 10 grandchildren. A brother Robert M. Pennoyer of New York City also survives him, his sisters, Virginia Livermore and Tracy Schilling, both of San Francisco, CA and Jessie Snyder of Shelburne, VT.
Mr. Pennoyer wrote his memoirs in 2008 mainly for his children and grandchildren. Entitled A Descendant, but Not an Heir, in it he writes about growing up with his grandfather, J.P. Morgan and his later life. On the bottom of page 156, “The one thought I leave with my children, grandchildren and down the ages is that the legal profession, possibly more than any other, gives you a clear picture and understanding of what makes our society work and, in some cases not work. And it gives you also a view of the good side and of the ugly side of human nature in all its shadings of the good and the bad.”
In ending his autobiography, he writes, “Heaven is a place where we meet again with those we loved on earth. It seems consistent with Jesus’ gospel of love and with His promise, “he that believeth in Me will never die.”
The funeral service will be held on Jan. 16 at 11 a.m. at St. Johns of Lattingtown, Locust Valley. Interment Locust Valley Cemetery. Arrangements made by Dodge-Thomas Funeral Home, Glen Cove. Donations may be to North Shore Wildlife Sanctuary, PO Box 214, Mill Neck, NY 11765 or St. John’s of Lattingtown, 325 Lattingtown Rd., Locust Valley, NY 11560.