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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Carlton Skinner, ex-Guam leader, dead at 91

By Bob Krauss
Advertiser Staff Writer

Carlton Skinner, the first civilian governor of Guam, died in Boston on June 22.

He was 91.

Skinner's career in the Pacific began during World War II. He then became a financier on the Mainland.

In 1948, Skinner drafted Guam's Organic Act, the constitution of the new U.S. Territory, then was appointed by President Harry S. Truman as the first civilian governor of Guam on Sept. 17, 1949.

During World War II, he pushed for full racial integration of the U.S. Coast Guard. As commander of the USS Sea Cloud, he oversaw a crew of 173, of whom 54 were black. Later, he commanded the USS Hoquiam, another integrated ship, after inspections showed that the vessel was as efficient as those manned by all-white crews.

On board the Hoquiam in the Aleutian Islands, he trained 222 Russians to operate the ship as part of the program to bring Russia into the war against Japan.

At the war's end, Truman appointed him Navy governor of Guam, then civilian governor. As a civilian, he founded Air Micronesia and served as chairman of the board for 30 years. His career in finance continued as vice president of the Fairbanks Whitney Corporation in New York and owner of a financial service business he founded in San Francisco.

Skinner was born in Boston, graduated from Wesleyan University and studied finance at the University of California, Los Angeles.

In 1970, he married French anthropologist Solange Petit, who survives him.

Reach Bob Krauss at 525-8073.