David Matthew Cashman
Dates of Service: 8/1/1987 - 9/21/1991
Birth Date: 5/8/1942
Death Date: 5/21/2022
David M. Cashman was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts on May 8, 1942. After graduating from St. Anselm College in 1964, he attended Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. He graduated in October 1964 and was commissioned an ensign in the United States Navy Reserves and immediately went to sea. In 1966, Cashman transferred to the regular navy and served on several different cruisers and destroyers. He deployed to the Tonkin Gulf off Vietnam and entered into the Combat Zone on various periods from June 1970 through October 1974. During this time he was promoted to lieutenant commander. Following his deployment, Cashman served on shore positions, including chief of staff at the Naval Surface Weapons Center. In 1984, he was appointed the first executive officer of the newly established AEGIS Training Center in Dahlgren, Virginia.
The sudden death of Commanding Officer Joseph Brown on July 8, 1987 accelerated Cashman’s appointment as Constitution‘s next commanding officer. Cashman immediately expressed his concerns about the ship’s deteriorating hull, especially the pronounced and ever increasing hog, or bend, in the keel. Much of Cashman’s time was spent preparing the ship for drydocking.
Cashman married Bobbi Bishop aboard “Old Ironsides” in 1990, becoming the first of Constitution‘s commanders to be married aboard the ship. In December 1987, Cashman visited the White House, where President Ronald Regan presented him the International Maritime Heritage Medal. Cashman accepted the award on behalf of all who have contributed to the preservation of “Old Ironsides.”
Cashman retired in 1991 and soon after was appointed naval aide to the Governor of Massachusetts. He volunteered and was actively involved as a liaison in the planning of the ship’s bicentennial sail to Marblehead, Massachusetts. Commanding Officer Michael Beck, who trained the crew and triumphantly sailed the ship to Marblehead Harbor on July 20-21, 1997, invited Cashman to be aboard as the “Honorary Navigator.” For Cashman, it was a dream come true.
He served as project consultant for the “Building Friendship” for the Salem Partnership in Salem, Massachusetts, working with Essex National Heritage and the Salem National Park Service. He fundraised for the United Way and served on the Parish Council and became active in the Star of the Sea Church in Marblehead for many years.
Cashman and his wife were members of the Corinthian Yacht Club (CYC) in Marblehead. Together they cruised the New England coast from Rhode Island to Maine numerous times both as a participant in the CYC annual cruise and independently on their 33-foot British-built ketch Preamble.
Cashman died at the age of 80 on May 21, 2022 in Naples, Florida.