Edwin J. Roland, a commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard from 1962 until his retirement in 1966, has died while vacationing here. He was 80 and made his home in Connecticut.
In ceremonies in 1966 accompanying the presentation of the Distinguished Service Medal, the nation's top award for military service and achievement, Roland was praised for improvements he had made in the Coast Guard. He also was cited for his response to the need for small river craft during the Vietnam War.
Before being named commandant by President John F. Kennedy, Roland had been assistant commandant in Washington, and commander of the 3rd Coast Guard District, headquartered in New York, and of the 1st Coast Guard District in Boston.
Roland, who graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1929 and died March 16, was a destroyer commander during World War II, receiving the Navy Commendation Ribbon for his service in the Mediterranean.
He is survived by his wife, Jane; two sons; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.