Terril Alexander Efird was born in Oakland, California, on July 2, 1918, son of Terril C. and Sarah H. (Irwin) Efird, both now deceased. He attended Fresno (California) State College; for a year and a half worked as a roustabout in the oil fields; then entered the University of California at Berkeley, from which he received the degree of Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. On May 6 1942, he was commissioned Ensign in the US Naval Reserve and in June of that year was designated for Engineering Duty Only. He subsequently advanced in rank to that of Captain, to date from September 1, 1962, having transferred from the Naval Reserve to the US Navy on July 26, 1946.
After receiving his commission in 1942, he reported in July of that year as Assistant Shop Superintendent at the Mare Island (California) Naval Shipyard. From October 1942 until May 1943, he attended a course in Naval Architecture at the Postgraduate School, Annapolis, Maryland, then returned to the Mare Island Naval Shipyard to serve as Assistant Ship Superintendent until November 1943; as Assistant Docking Officer and during the period January 1945 until April 1946 as Docking Officer. The next month he joined USS Ard-5 as Executive Officer and Docking Officer and in August 1946 assumed command of that vessel, based at the Naval Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut.
He had instruction in Naval Construction and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, from June 1947 until June 1948, after which he had duty afloat as Assistant Engineer on board USS Robert L. Wilson (DD-847). In August 1948, he returned to MIT for further instruction and in June 1949 was assigned as Assistant Industrial Engineer at the Boston (Massachusetts) Naval Shipyard. He again entered MIT in September 1949 and completed the course in Naval Construction and Engineering in June 1950, receiving his Master’s degree. Following training at the Naval School, Salvage, Bayonne, New Officer at the Naval Ship Repair Facility, Yokosuka, Japan. “For meritorious service…” during the period August 14, 1950 to September 20, 1951, he was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal. The citation further states in part:
“…Lieutenant Commander Efird contributed materially to the achievement of an outstanding record ship activation and ship repair during the early days of the Korean crisis. Coordinating the efforts of small groups of naval personnel and Japanese workmen, he was directly responsible for the rearming the activation of several LST’s at Yokosuka, Japan; repairs to several amphibious ships at the staging area at Kobe, Japan; and repairs to numerous other ships at the Repair Facility. By his diligence, foresight and perseverance, he contributed in a large measure to the successful amphibious operations at Inchon, Korea, and to other successful operations during the Korean campaign…”
During the period August 1952 to July 1955, he was assigned to the Office of the Industrial Manager, Eighth Naval District and the Supervisor of Shipbuilding and Naval Inspector of Ordnance, New Orleans, Louisiana, where he served as Inspection Officer until October 1953, then as Planning Officer and Design Superintendent. He next had duty as Assistant Planning and Estimating Superintendent at the Naval Shipyard, Long Beach, California, and in July 1957 became Senior Assistant to the Supervisor of Shipbuilding at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard. In June 1959 he reported for instruction (Elements of Management and Industrial Engineering) at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, and from August 1959 until July 1962 was Project Coordinator in the Hull Design Branch, Bureau f Ships, Navy Department, Washington, DC. Following an assignment which extended to July 1965 as Design Superintendent at the Puget Sound (Washington) Naval Shipyard, Bureau of Ships ( redesignated in May 1966 Ships Systems Command Headquarters), Washington, DC He remained there until August 1968 and the next month assumed duty as Planning Officer at the Hunters Point Component, San Francisco Bay Naval Shipyard.
In addition to the Navy Commendation Medal, Captain Efird has the American Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; National Defense Service Medal with bronze star; Korean Service Medal; and the United Nations Service Medal.
Captain Efird is a member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, Free and Accepted Masons and the American Society of Naval Engineers.