Captain Jerry Morgan Blesch, USS Wisconsin (10/22/88-9/28/90) was born near Fort Thomas, Kentucky on 9 May 1938. He was educated in the public school system and attended Centre College in Danville, Kentucky before being accepted to the US Naval Academy. He was commissioned an Ensign in the US Navy in 1962. Captain Blesch was subsequently awarded a Master of Science Degree in Management from the naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.
His first assignment was on aboard the destroyer USS Douglas H Fox (DD-779), where he served as First Lieutenant, Gunnery Officer and Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer. He then attended Department Head School in Newport, RI and was assigned as Operation Officer and Navigator on board USS Vogelgesang (DD-862). Subsequent sea duty assignments include: Executive Officer of USS VOGE (DE-1047), and Commanding Officer of USS Richard L. Page (FFG-5). During this tour, Page was awarded the Battenburg Cup, signifying the top unit in the Atlantic Fleet. Captain Blesch commanded the Sixth Fleet Flagship, USS Puget Sound (AD-38), homeported in Gaeta, Italy. His last afloat assignment was in the Pacific as Commander, Destroyer Squadron Twenty-Five where he was the On-Scene Commander for the US following the shooting down of Korean Airlines Flight 007.
His shore assignments have included tours in the Bureau of Naval Personnel; the Office of the Ombudsman of the Navy; Navy Recruiting District, Houston, Texas; Tactical Training Group Atlantic Fleet, and Executive Assistant for the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Manpower, Personnel and Training. He served as Executive Assistant for Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command, when he was selected as Prospective Commanding Officer of USS Wisconsin (BB-64).
Captain Blesch assumed command of the Wisconsin for her second recommissioning on 22 October 1988.