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CAPT William J. Sumsion, USN

Award: Claud A. Jones 
Year: 2020
Recipient: CAPT William J. Sumsion, USN
for his significant contribution to naval engineering as set forth in the following



Captain William J. Sumsion is an active-duty Engineering Duty Officer in the United Sates Navy. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Eastern Washington University, and advanced degrees at the University of Wisconsin and the Naval Postgraduate School.


CAPT Sumsion also qualified as a Diving and Salvage Officer which has allowed him to further advance the Navy’s ability to perform waterborne repairs. Captain William Sumsion has had a significant positive impact on the Pacific Fleet as an operating engineer. His leadership and ability has significantly improved readiness and facilitated the expedient delivery of deployed and home-ported ships in both Pacific and Atlantic Fleets.

Given the difficult first-time task of conducting an “Intermediate” level availability in a “Depot” facility at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Sumsion was able to succeed where others had failed. His leadership, coordination, and effort led to an on-time undocking and successful availability by facilitating stake holder agreement to a blended depot and immediate maintenance availability standards.

In this demanding role, Sumsion performed his duties for dayshift, backshift, and weekend duties for the entire 100-day availability. After Puget Sound, Sumsion continued pioneering engineering support to the Navy in Singapore as the maintenance and diving/salvage provider to all ships in the Western Pacific (outside Japan). In his role in Singapore, Sumsion saw the first deployment of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS).

In addition to supporting the LCS deployment in Singapore, Sumsion was the United States Navy diving and salvage officer for the geographic region from the Pacific International Dateline to the Indian Ocean. In this unique maintenance role, he oversaw several high-profile engineering and salvage events. Due to his success in deployed LCS maintenance and as a diving/salvage officer, Sumsion was hand-selected and promoted to lead the Engineering, Planning, and Fleet Technical Assistance department in Yokosuka, Japan. Having success in the Pacific, Sumsion was next transferred to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine where he led in various roles, including as a deputy project superintendent on a Virginia-class submarine (the USS New Mexico) and finishing his tour as a Department Head of the Operations Department.

Sumsion took the hard jobs that were not performing as well as needed and turned them around to being successful, working organizations and as a “best practice” for United States Navy maintenance teams to follow. Under his direct leadership, maintenance teams had a significant impact on not just the United States Navy but also with our foreign partners. Overall, his work returned a benefit not only to the Navy but to the US in our foreign policy efforts to maintain coalitions in support of our national defense.

The American Society of Naval Engineers is honored to name Captain William J. Sumsion, USN as the recipient of the 2021 Claud A. Jones (Fleet Engineering) Award.