General Ramsey Douglas
Potts jr
United States of America
Memphis, United States of America
Boynton Beach, Fla. ,Bethesda Memorial Hospital, United States of America


From The Washington Post, 31 May 2006:

By Adam Bernstein

Ramsay D. Potts, 89, a highly decorated World War II combat pilot who became a corporate lawyer and founder of a large Washington law firm, died May 28 at Bethesda Memorial Hospital in Boynton Beach, Fla., after a stroke. After the war, Mr Potts graduated from Harvard University law school, was a special assistant to then-Air Force Secretary W. Stuart Symington and president of the Military Air Transport Association, a trade organization of charter and cargo carriers.

In 1958, Mr Potts and three other lawyers formed a Washington firm that, after some changes among top partners, was long known as Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge. The firm’s portfolio included corporate law, securities regulation, environmental law and nuclear energy issues. One of Mr Potts’s clients was the Investment Company Institute, a trade group for the then-new mutual fund industry. He also was a specialist on air transportation law.

He retired in 1986 as managing partner and became senior counsel of the firm, which grew to more than 300 lawyers with offices in Tysons Corner, New York, Los Angeles and London. Last year, the firm merged with San Francisco-based Pillsbury Winthrop LLP to form Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.

He was a 1941 commerce graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Southern Conference leader in tennis and guard on the basketball team. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Forces as a combat pilot. Assigned to the 8th Air Force, he flew B-24 Liberator bombers in missions over France and North Africa and participated in a vital raid on oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania, one of the top sources of petroleum to the Germans.

For the August 1943 run at Ploesti, he had to fly at house-top level, enduring what a military publication at the time called “merciless fire from almost every conceivable ground defense weapon. During the target run, a direct flak burst tore away the vertical stabilizer, and another blast shattered the elevator control cables at one point.” The plane, called the Duchess, nearly lost control until the engineer spliced the torn cables with .50-caliber shell links. When the Duchess returned to base, it had more than 50 fist-size holes in the wings and fuselage.
Mr Potts won many promotions – he was full colonel at 27. When Mr Potts was group leader of the 453rd Bomb Group, actor James Stewart was his operations officer. “We hit it off very well, even though he was eight years older than I was,” he said of Stewart, with whom he remained friends. “He was a wonderful addition to the group and had the same languid style as in his movies.”

Mr Potts became director of bombing operations of the 8th Air Force and, after the war, was a military adviser to the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey, which analyzed the effectiveness of bombing missions against the Axis powers. For that work, he interviewed top Nazi leaders, including Hermann Goering, Albert Kesselring and Alfred Jodl.

His military decorations included the Army Distinguished Service Cross, two awards of the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, three awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star and five awards of the Air Medal. He retired from the Air Force Reserve as a major general in 1972 and was fundraiser for the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum near Savannah, Ga.

He formerly served on the board of Emerson Electric Co., a defense contractor, and was for decades heavily involved in Washington area tennis tournaments as a player and organizer. In 2005, he moved to Delray Beach, Fla., from Arlington.

Survivors include four children, Ramsay Douglas Potts IV of McLean, David H. Potts of Rehoboth Beach, Del., and Lesley Potts and Lindsay Potts-Beckwith, both of Toledo; a brother, Stephen Potts of Chevy Chase; three sisters, Anne Lunde of Bluffton, S.C., Susan Youmans-Whitaker of Sun City Center, Fla., and Penny Bailey of Memphis; and six grandchildren.

His wife, Veronica Raynor Potts, whom he married in 1945, died in 1993. To court her during the war, Mr Potts flew one New Year’s Eve from his base in Belgium to hers in southern England. She was in the Royal Air Force women’s auxiliary. “I can dramatize it by saying that when I finally got there, the base was closed due to a heavy rainstorm,” he said in a 1999 oral history with the D.C. Bar. “I buzzed the tower at 20 feet and they gave me a red light, so I went around and buzzed it again until they finally gave me a green light and I landed. She was right there waiting for me.”


Archive statistics 1934 - 1937

Tournaments US Open - 1937 Eastern Clay Court Championships - 1937 Mid-Dixie Championships - 1937 Nassau Bowl - 1937 Seabright Invitational - 1937 Spring Lake Invitation Tournament - 1937 Southampton Invitation (Long Island) - 1937 US Open - 1936 Longwood Bowl - 1936 Mid-Dixie Championships - 1936 Seabright Invitational - 1936 Southern Championships - 1936 Western States Championships - 1936 US Open - 1935 Seigniory Club Tournament - 1935 US Open - 1934

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