(T-G Photo by Brian Mosely)
Retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Jerry Creighton Breast was honored with the dedication Thursday, with many local officials and family members on hand for the presentation.
According to the resolution sponsored by State Rep. Pat Marsh, Rep. Stratton Bone and State Sen. Jim Tracy, the highway designation is "a lasting tribute to one of the most distinguished military officers this state has ever produced."
Breast was born and raised in Shelbyville and graduated in 1958 from Vanderbilt with a NROTC commission and a degree in physics, becoming a naval aviator one year later.
He flew light attack aircraft from aircraft carriers for the next 17 years, while attending the Naval War College, Naval Post-graduate School, Test Pilot School, and Catholic University during shore duty.
Breast flew 336 combat missions over North Vietnam during three deployments between 1967 and 1973, and commanded the "Marauders" Attack Squadron based in Florida.
He became operations officer on the carrier USS America and upon promotion to captain served 14 months as its executive officer.
In 1978-79, he was program sponsor for the Navy's F/A-18 preproduction development and testing, before becoming the commanding officer of the USS Savannah in 1980 and then commanding the aircraft carrier Independence in 1981.
Breast was promoted to Flag rank in June 1983, and assumed command of the U.S. Naval Safety Center at NAS Norfolk, Virginia.
In 1985, he took command of a aircraft carrier group and deployed to the Mediterranean, taking command as Commander, Battle Force Sixth Fleet.
While serving in this role, Breast was responsible for all Navy strike planning and execution during operations in Libya and the Gulf of Sidra.
He was then assigned as Director of Operations of U.S. Space Command in January 1987, and was promoted to Rear Admiral less than two months later, retiring in 1990, and moving to Nashville where he spent the last two decades holding four different jobs in the business and education fields.