Lynn McGraw Cavendish was born in Huntington, West Virginia, on May 25, 1922, son of Ray Cavendish (now deceased) and Ruth (McGraw) Cavendish. He attended West Virginia University at Morgantown (1941-1943) and the University of Louisville (Kentucky), from which he received a Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree in 1944. Prior to his graduation he enlisted in the US Naval Reserve on July 1, 1943. Following instruction at the Civil Engineer Corps Midshipman School, Camp, USNR, on May 6, 1944. He subsequently advanced in rank to that of Captain, to date from October 1, 1968, having transferred from the Naval Reserve to the US Navy on July 29, 1955.
Following his commission in 1944 he had duty as Adjutant of the Sixth Naval Construction Brigade, Tinian, Marianas Islands. From August 1945 to July 1955 he was on inactive duty except for the period November 1951 to November 1953 when he served as Planning Officer at the Naval Construction Battalion Center, Port Hueneme, California. Returning to active duty in July 1955 he had duty in connection with public works planning at the White House, Washington, DC, until October that year when he joined Detachment G, Construction Battalions, Antarctica as Operations Officer. In that assignment he participated in surveys and investigation at McMurdo Sound, Knox Coast, and various locations in Antarctica. In August 1956 he became Base Construction Officer of Mobile Construction Battalion, McMurdo Sound, Antarctica.
Ordered to the Naval Air station, Cecil Field, Florida, he was Assistant Public Works Officer from July 1957 until July 1959, when he was assigned as Public Works Officer at the Naval Air Station, Olathe, Kansas. During the period June 1961 to December 1962 he served as Executive Officer of the Naval Schools, Construction, Port Hueneme, California, then reported as Operations Officer at the Public Works Center, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In February 1964 he assumed duty as the Resident Officer in Charge of Construction at Guantanamo Bay. In that assignment he received the Navy Commendation Medal “For meritorious service in connection with duties while serving as Resident Officer in Charge of Construction of a Combined Sea Water Conversion and Electric Power Generation plant…from February 14, 1964 to February 24, 1965.” The citation continues in part:
“Responsible for administration and direction of all on-site construction connected with this important project, Commander Cavendish carried out his duties with outstanding professional skill and resourcefulness, contributing materially to the successful and expeditions completion of the project…”
Detached in March 1965, he was ordered to the Southeast Division, Bureau of Yards and Docks, headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, where he was Assistant Director for Facilities Management until July 1968, then became Executive Officer. In October 1968 he assumed command of the Public Works Center, Subic Bay, Luzon, Republic of the Philippine where he remained until June 1970 when he was assigned to the Office of the Office in Charge, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Contracts, Republic of Vietnam, Saigon.
In addition to the Navy Commendation Medal, Captain Cavendish has the Naval Reserve Medal; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; National Defense Service Medal with bronze star; Antarctic Service Medal; and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Cuba).