John Frank Gamboa

August 12, 1933July 8, 2021

Frank Gamboa died of Parkinson’s complications following hip replacement surgery on July 8, 2021. He was 88 years old. He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Linda, his son Jack and granddaughter Emma, of Portland, Oregon, and his daughter Judy and granddaughter Loren, of Middleburg, Virginia.

A native of Lone Pine, California, Frank was the third child of Enriqueta and Teodulo Gamboa, who fled Mexico during the Revolution. He and his 6 siblings were first generation Americans. He graduated from Lone Pine High School, attended Los Angeles Junior College, and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1958, in the 17th Company. He earned a Communications Engineering degree from the Navy Postgraduate School, and a Masters Degree in Government from University of Maryland.

Frank was a Surface Warfare officer who served on shore duty in the U.S., as well as in Korea, Bahrain, and Panama; and on ships in both the Pacific and Atlantic Fleets. He commanded USS Fort Fisher (LSD-40) , USS Vancouver (LPD-2), and he was Commodore of the 7 ships in Amphibious Squadron 3 in the Pacific Fleet. He also commanded the Naval Communications Station Balboa, in the Panama Canal Zone. He served in the Pentagon as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Equal Opportunity. Frank retired from the Navy after 30 years of service. Frank Gamboa’s service awards include: the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Navy Meritorious Service Medal (3 awards), the Joint Service Commendation Medal (2 awards), and the Navy Commendation Medal, and several campaign and unit award ribbons.

Frank served as Vice President of the USNA Class of 1958, giving generously of his time, and successfully nominated 5 members of the class of 1958 for USNA Distinguished Graduate Awards. From 1994 to 2006, he and Linda ran Gamboa International Corporation, an environmental management consulting company. During John McCain’s 2000 Presidential Campaign, Frank was a surrogate speaker and Coordinator for Veterans and POWs. Frank was often interviewed and featured in biographies in print and film for his longtime friendship with John McCain, who was his roommate at the Naval Academy and a dear friend.

Frank wrote his memoir, El Capitan, the Making of an American Naval Officer, in 2011. He developed a management plan for success for future Surface Warfare Officers, through “Another Link in the Chain,” a mentorship program linking the class of 1958 with the class of 2008. He was a loyal Navy Football and ‘58 tailgate fan. Frank was a parishioner who served as an usher, and on the Senior Saints Ministries at the Church of the Holy Comforter in Vienna, Virginia.

In Frank’s memory, you may wish to donate to the Naval Academy at: or to the Church of the Holy Comforter in Vienna, Virginia at: If you wish to read more about Frank, here is his website:


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


John Frank Gamboa

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Robert D Jenkins III

July 26, 2021

RIP Commodore Gamboa
Fond memories of PHIBRON 3 days.

He was Chair of my Command at Sea Qual board when I was serving in USS Schenectady LST-1185
I always enjoyed visiting with him at SNA in WDC years later.
Deepest sympathies to the Gamboa family.
Ron Jenkins

Orson Swindle

July 25, 2021

What a wonderful, amazing and loyal friend we lost. The essence of loyalty. Frank and Linda were always stellar guests at our annual Christmas Party and cookouts at our home in Alexandria. We will all miss his presence, his kindness and his friendship. GBU Frank.
Countless blessing and prayers for Frank, Linda and their wonderful family.

Jim Ryan

July 20, 2021

Frank and I were classmates at the Naval Academy and shipmates on two Midshipman summer training cruises. Frank was 100% Navy and a credit to his country as a Navy ship captain. Moreover after Service retirement I worked with Frank and his wife Linda on the Presidential campaign of Frank's Annapolis roommate Senator John McCain. Two of the finest people II have ever known--Frank and Linda Gamboa. My love to you Linda in this tough hour.

Rusty Hopp

July 15, 2021

Frank Gamboa was my Commanding Officer on the USS FORT FISHER (LSD 40). He took Command on December 3rd, 1976 while the ship was in drydock in Todd Shipyard in San Pedro, CA.

I was honored to be his first Sailor of the Quarter.

The greatest honor was in 2008; I was at the USNA Homecoming Game, and found the Class of 58's tailgate. Walked up to Frank and had a short visit with him and Linda. Had a beer with my Captain. I truly enjoyed the visit and it meant the world to me.

Frank and Linda both made me feel welcomed and part of their Navy Family.

God Bless the Gamboa Family and May God hold Frank to his Bosom.

Rest in Peace J. Frank Gamboa, CAPT, USN (RET)

We Have the Watch.

Madeline Murphy

July 14, 2021

My family next door is truly bless. I thank you for the closeness of the two families. Frank was much by all. God continue to bless all. Love.

Gloria Borden

July 12, 2021

Linda, my heart grieves for you and your family. The journey through grief is the most difficult one we ever take. I pray the peace of God falls upon you through your faith, family and friends. Love and blessings to you, Gloria Borden