George B. Gibbons was born in New Rochelle April 5, 1914 the son of the late Marion and George Billings Gibbons. In Rye his family lived at 10 Hilltop Place and were members of the Church of the Resurrection. George attended the Choate School before venturing around the world on a freighter in the early 1930's.
George served his country in the Pacific Theatre during World War II, rising to the rank of First Lieutenant with the 25th Division, L Company. The 35th Infantry Regiment was attached to the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii.
It was sent to Guadalcanal, 25 November 1942, to relieve Marines near Henderson Field. First elements landed near the Tenaru River, 17 December 1942, and entered combat, 10 January 1943, participating in the seizure of Kokumbona and the reduction of the Mount Austen Pocket in some of the bitterest fighting of the Pacific campaign. With other units on 5 February 1943 it helped end organized enemy resistance.
A period of garrison duty followed, ending 21 July: On that date, advance elements debarked on Munda, New Georgia. The 35th Infantry, under the Northern Landing Force, took part in the capture of Vella Lavella, 15 August to 15 September 1943. Organized resistance on New Georgia ended, 25 August, and the division moved to New Zealand for rest and training, last elements arriving on 5 December. The 25th was transferred to New Caledonia, 3 February - 14 March 1944, for continued training.
During that time, George met Carolyn DuPont of Wilmington, Delaware, who was serving as a Nurse in the Army General Hospital, stationed in New Zealand. They were married in Christ Church, New Zealand on April 20, 1944.
The division landed in the San Fabian area of Luzon, 11 January 1945, to enter the struggle for the liberation of the Philippines. It drove across the Luzon Central Plain, meeting the enemy at Binalonan, 17 January. Moving through the rice paddies, the 25th occupied Umingan, Lupao, and San Jose and destroyed a great part of the Japanese armor on Luzon.
On 21 February, the division began operations in the Caraballo Mountains. It fought its way along Highway No. 5, taking Digdig, Putlan, and Kapintalan against fierce enemy counterattacks and took Balete Pass, 13 May, and opened the gateway to the Cagayan Valley, 27 May, with the capture of Santa Fe. Until 30 June, when the division was relieved, it carried out mopping-up activities. On 1 July, the division moved to Tarlac for training, leaving for Japan, 20 September. At the end of the war the 35th was involved with occupation duty in Japan.
Returning to New York after the war, Mr. Gibbons, went to work for George B. Gibbons and Co., the municipal bond house founded by his father and with which he was affiliated for some forty years, ultimately becoming its Chief Executive Officer. He was a member of the Broad Street Club and the Downtown Association. Sailing was his passion, and as such, he raced or cruised with friends or on his own yawl, ''Mariann'', in South America, the Caribbean, Europe and the Mediterranean, and most of the east coast of the United States.
He was a staunch participant in the Block Island and Vineyard Races for many, many years. Mr. Gibbons was a member of the New York Yacht Club, the Storm Trysail Club, and the Nantucket Yacht Club. American Yacht Club, though, was the focus of much of his life and which he served in many capacities, culminating in Commodore in 1967-68. As Commodore, he was responsible for instituting a wide-ranging program of maintenance and capital improvement which impacted the club for many years to come. He will be remembered for his abounding energy and enthusiasm, thoughtfulness, and quiet generosity. Known fondly as ''Captain Bligh'' by everyone who knew him, he was a teacher and mentor to young and old alike. He will be greatly missed.
George Billings Gibbons, Jr., eighty-eight, lifelong resident of Rye, New York and Nantucket, Massachusetts, died suddenly on Thursday, January 16, 2003
At the time of his death, he was survived by his wife, Carolyn, and six children: Marion Lessene Gibbons of Trinidad, George Billings Gibbons III of City Island, Carolyn Gibbons Abernathy of Rye, Pauline Gibbons Green of Denver, Robert Gibbons of Denver and Lois Gibbons Sager of Mattapoisett, Massachusetts. He was also survived by ten grandchildren, many nieces and nephews and friends too numerous to count.
A Memorial Service was held at American Yacht Club at twelve o'clock noon on Tuesday, January 21, 2003.