Named for Rappahannock admiral, Marocchi Memorial Scholarship now open | Latest News

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Marocchi served in the U.S. Navy for decades in a career that spanned World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. A recipient of the Purple Heart and Legion of Merit, the Admiral was one of the few Navy officers to complete Army Airborne training.

He also served as a trustee of the Virginia War Memorial for more than 15 years.

He was born Gianluigi Marocchi in Bologna, Italy and arrived in the United States at the age of 2. Marocchi graduated from high school at the age of 15 and college at 18.

He attended the US Naval Academy in Annapolis as a member of the class of 1942 and went into service after Pearl Harbor, according to his obituary.

Severely wounded aboard the USS Birmingham during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, Marocchi nevertheless remained in the Navy until his retirement in 1975, becoming a veteran also of the Korean and Vietnam Wars. As an intelligence officer, Marocchi was instrumental in resolving the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Pueblo Incident. He never stopped exercising, running 5-10 miles a day until he was in his 70’s. When he retired in 1975, he had achieved the rank of Rear Admiral and was the Deputy Director of NSA.

Following retirement, Marocchi and his wife Mary moved to Rappahannock, where he worked constantly to turn his farm into a showplace. Adm. Marocchi’s favorite projects was the Virginia War Memorial which he was instrumental in creating and on whose board he served for many years, his obituary stated.