On behalf of the entire membership of the U.S. Naval Institute, our hearts and prayers go out to the LeFon family.

Carroll LeFon, Neptunus Lex, was a respected naval aviator who achieved warrior poet status for his excellent writing and writing style. He truly embodied the attributes of, “read, think, speak and write,” …central to our U.S. Naval Institute mission. He was a valued member of the Naval Institute, joining forces with us in 1986.

At the appropriate time we will discuss publishing the RHYTHMS manuscript – as several have suggested – with Lex’s family.

Again, we extend our sincere condolences from all of us at USNI. He will be missed.

VADM Peter H. Daly, USN (Ret.)

CEO, U.S. Naval Institute

Posted by admin in Aviation, Naval Institute, Navy

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  • Byron

    Sir, respectfully recommend adding “Tales of the Sea Service” along with “Rhythms”. Lex did have a way with words…better than just about anyone I’ve ever read.

  • Perfect Admiral! All of us miss Lex today. Our Hearts go out to his Wife and kids, our prayers run deep for their strength. All of Lex’s post serve to benefit Naval History, and should be preserved in some fashion for posterity. But publishing Rhythms is a fantastic start!


  • UltimaRatioReg


    Nice touch. Well-said.

  • Mike M.

    Agree with Byron. Lex had the Great Talent – one of the best wordsmiths I’ve ever read.

  • Old Air Force Sarge

    Bravo Zulu Sir!

  • KenofSoCal

    I’d like to second the recommendations of Byron, John, et al.
    Thank you for the fine words.

  • BJ Armstrong

    Thank you to USNI for providing us the forum to remember a man like Lex and a place that we can share our thoughts and prayers with his family. We draw together as Members in times like these and only places like USNI Blog help make sure there’s always room at the back bar to share a drink and remember those who have gone before.


  • Phillip Conlon ’82

    Thank you sir for the kind words to all of us. Carroll was a fine man and natural leader who truly cared for everyone he knew or met.

    Publishing his works will help to preserve a fine example of leadership and integrity for us and those who come after us.


    Good, Good, Good. I was hoping that you would do this. God Bless you, Sir! BRAVO ZULU USNI!

  • PeterK

    Look upon his blog like Samuel Johnson’s diary. consider publishing selections from his blog as a book, too.

  • When they say “warrior poet”, Lex should be one of the faces that you see.

    Thank you for your kind words, sir. Please consider the suggestions of my fellow commenters; Lex’s blog should be required reading for at least two of the Services.

  • Mongo

    Perfectly expressed, indeed, Admiral. We think we have become accustomed to the passing of friends, until one such as Lex departs from our midst. Having become accustomed to his writings, which so eloquently expressed his passions, I feel as if I must go over it all again and recapture more of the spirit he intoned with each post.

    I shall miss you, Lex. I do look forward to that time in another world where we shall gather at Shakespeare’s for the debrief. Farewell, blessed friend.

  • Paul L. Quandt


    Thank you and the USNI for your efforts toward having Capt. LeFon’s words put on paper.

    Should it come to pass that the USNI is unable to do so, please let me know. I contacted the editor of the periodical “Military” this morning to explore the possibility of them printing some of his stories if, for some reason, you/the USNI were unable to do so. My email is: [email protected].

    I hope that the USNI is able to publish the good Captain’s stories, as you have long produced quality books.

    Paul L. Quandt

  • CG-23 Sailor

    I second Byron’s comment above. In addition to Rythyms, Captain Lefon’s “Tales of the Sea Service” is another source of inspiration, Humor, and “lessons learned” for one and all.

    Though I was but a one tour Surface warfare enlisted sailor, I strongly think that much of Lex’s blog and postings, not just his anecdotal stories and true stories of flying, but much of everything else as well should (in a just world) be required Naval Academy reading. Much of what he wrote reflects a command style so few officers I ever met had, or hoped to have. Had he been my CO, I would have liked to think I may have turned into a “Lifer”.

    Look up a past post titled “For the good of the service” as an example of his command style and lessons for all, Not just his flying stories.
    It involves Zero Tolerance and a promising young enlisted career cut down due to drugs.

    He was an inspiration to everyone.
    He will be missed

  • Admiral:
    +1 to the comments above — and when the time comes to put actions to words, am standing by to assist as desired.

    v/r, SJS

  • CAPT Lefon was one of the first to venture out into the blogosphere and give a perspective from the Sea Services. I have enjoyed many of his posts over the years, especially Rhythms. My heart felt condolences to the Lefon family during this difficult time.Godspeed and open water, Shipmate.


  • Chief Torpedoman

    Is “Tales of the Sea Service” a link on Lex’s blog or is it just a collection of posts? I tried searching for it, but could not specifially find it.

  • I applaud the work to finally get Lex published, but I have this suggestion: The Complete Lex Reader.

    IMHO, he was a man who wrote well of many things, to include life, relationships, both personal and professional, humanity, career choices, etc, etc, etc.

    Even the political portion has it’s merit in this time, as he was a serving officer, and recently retired, with a perspective that did not show as the stereotypical movie version of military officers in this arena.

    Break out his site by category and scan it, just for a rough cut.

    I’d suggest there is plenty of reading material for military members, officers, spouses, children of military members, and much much more. It would be a shame to let that work go quietly into the night.

  • Byron

    It’s a collection of posts; look for the “Tags” bar, you’ll find it in there along with “Rhythms”.

  • SJBill


    (There I go again – damn allergy season makes me tear up from time to time.)

    Above all, Lex was a gentleman first. He taught a love for language, country, and civility.

    I commit to purchasing a copy for my family, and I will likewise donate a copy to each CVN in the Navy as well a needed reference material.

  • Thank you, Sir.

    Thank you, Neptunus Lex. I knew not while you were here, but one who cast such an giant shadow must have been extraordinary indeed. Fair winds, following seas and clear air. May those left behind be comforted by the many responses here and elsewhere.

  • Capt Jack L. Sotherland III

    This should not be an end unto itself; we need to encourage others to strive to reach the same heights of literary coherence… the US Navy used to be noted for its ability to put pen to paper, with arguably the most famous being A T Mahan… and Neptunus Lex. We will miss Carroll. For a long time to come, Thanks, ADM Daly.

  • Navig8r

    Put me down for a copy of Rhythms. I hope proceeds go to his wife. I and others have urged him to get it published. I am glad that it will finally happen. I will surely miss living vicariously through Lex’s image-painting prose.

  • Byron

    Myself as well. For years we begged Lex to “WRITE THE DAMNED BOOK!” 🙂 There’s a lot of black humor in this, but I still can’t bring myself to hardly think of it, much less say it. Maybe after I hoist a Guinness this evening at 1700 EST…for the strength!

  • Spade

    There’s probably enough sea stories and other tales on the blog to fill multiple books. I’d love to have every one in my library.

  • Thank you Sir. Captain LeFon has a special place in my small part of England.