Capt. George W. Kittredge, U.S. Navy-retired, died unexpectedly at his home in South Thomaston on Feb. 23, 2010.

George was born in Washington, D.C., on May 26, 1918. He was the son of Scott F. and Henriette Green Kittredge. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., in 1940 with a degree in electrical engineering and a commission in the U.S. Navy. Upon graduation, George was ordered to the USS Chicago, a heavy cruiser with a home port at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The Chicago participated in the battles of the Coral Sea and Savo Island and covered the Marine landings at Guadalcanal. When the Chicago had its bow blown off in the Battle of Savo Island, George volunteered for submarine duty. He made a total of seven submarine war patrols, two on the Sunfish (SS 281) and five on the Haddock (SS 231). During those seven war patrols, 16 enemy ships were torpedoed. At the end of World War II, George commanded the submarine Grouper (SS 214). He was 26 years old at that time.

George married the former Gayle Clark on his birthday, May 26, 1944, thus ensuring that he would never forget their anniversary.

In 1946, he was Admiral Byrd’s navigator on Byrd’s last expedition to the Antarctic. That was followed by a tour of duty as assistant naval attaché at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India. George returned to the United States to take command of the submarine Sterlet (SS 292) and then the fast attack submarine Trout (SS 566). Later, he would spend two and a half years in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He then returned to Pearl Harbor as the commander of the Fast Attack Submarine Division 11. George’s last tour of duty was as senior military attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel.

In 1962, Capt. Kittredge retired from the Navy. Subsequently, he was a member of the 102nd Maine Legislature and a trustee of the Maine Maritime Academy. In 1970, he founded Kittredge Industries to manufacture small submarines. He is generally recognized as the father of personal submersibles. Between 1970 and 1988, the company built and sold worldwide small submarines, the last one going to the University of Nagasaki in Japan. He then sold submarine plans to individuals for self-construction. His plans are still available at

Capt. Kittredge was an excellent horseman and a good polo player. In 1950 in New Delhi, India, he played on the Argentine polo team that defeated the Indian Army Team 5-4 in overtime before a crowd of 100,000 people. He owned and rode horses until the time of his death. He was also a pilot. In recent years, he built and flew an amphibious ultra-light plane.

Capt. Kittredge’s wife, Gayle Kittredge, predeceased him on March 19, 2000. Per George’s request, there will be no funeral or service. His ashes will be interred in the columbarium at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. Local arrangements are with the Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home in Rockland.