Jump to content

John L. McCrea

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
John Livingstone McCrea
Born(1891-05-29)May 29, 1891
DiedJanuary 25, 1990(1990-01-25) (aged 98)[1]
SpouseMartha (?–his death)
  • Meredith Coyne
  • Annie Sullivan
  • stepson, Philip H. Tobey
  • stepdaughter, Julia C. Tobey
Military career
Allegiance United States Navy
Years of service1915–1953
RankVice admiral
Commands held
  • World War I
  • World War II

John L. McCrea (29 May 1891 – 25 January 1990) was an American naval officer of World War I and World War II, and later an insurance executive.

Navy career[edit]

McCrea was graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and commissioned an ensign in 1915. He served on the battleships USS New York (BB-34) and then in 1919 on the USS New Mexico (BB-40). He was the watch officer aboard the New York on November 21, 1918, who recorded the surrender of the Imperial German Navy High Seas Fleet in her log.[5]

In 1921 he served on several destroyers: USS Burns (DD-171), USS Babbitt (DD-128), and USS Zeilin (DD-313). In 1922 he was executive officer of the replenishment oiler USS Ramapo (AO-12). He attended the Naval War College in 1923. His first command came in 1924, on the minesweeper USS Bittern (AM-36).

He was assigned to the Office of the Judge Advocate General in 1926, and completed his law degree in 1929. Immediately thereafter, he was Flag secretary of the Special Service Squadron in Central America. He became an aide to the Judge Advocate General in 1932, completed a master of law degree at GWU in 1934. From there he reported aboard the heavy cruiser USS Astoria (CA-34), where he was navigator.[7]

He was promoted to commander in 1936 and assigned as executive officer of the Guam Naval Station and aide for civil administration. In 1938 he returned to battleship service as executive officer of the USS Pennsylvania (BB-38).

He became an aide to CNO Harold Stark in September 1940. He was naval secretary at the Arcadia Conference, and made a personal visit to deliver revised war plans to senior naval commanders in the Pacific.[7][8]

He was promoted to captain in 1942, and was appointed President Franklin D. Roosevelt's naval aide. In that capacity, he established the White House Map Room, and accompanied Roosevelt to the January 1943 Casablanca conference, and took notes.[9] He took command of the newly commissioned battleship USS Iowa (BB-61); he was a plankowner. While he commanded her, February 22, 1943 to August 1944, Iowa transported President Roosevelt across the Atlantic to the Cairo Conference, and to Algeria en route to the Teheran Conference.[5][10][11]

He was promoted to Rear Admiral August 6, 1944, and took command of Cruiser Division 3. He served under Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher in the Northern and Western Pacific, commanding Task Force 92 in attacks on the Kuriles. He was Deputy Chief of Naval Operations in 1946, Deputy CINCPACFLT in 1948, and Director, Personnel Policy Board from 1949. He commanded 1st Naval District, Boston, from February 1952 until he retired from the Navy in 1953.[4][12]

Post Navy[edit]

He was a vice president for client relations at John Hancock Life Insurance Company in Boston until he retired in 1966.[2]


  1. ^ "John L. McCrea, 98, Retired Vice Admiral". The New York Times. 30 January 1990. p. B 6. Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  2. ^ a b "John L. McCrea, 98, Retired Vice Admiral". The New York Times. January 30, 1990. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  3. ^ McCrea, John L. (1990). McCrea, VAdm. John L., U.S. Navy (Ret.) Volume I. Annapolis, MD: U.S. Naval Institute. Retrieved 2014-07-21. Based on one interview conducted by John T. Mason, Jr., in May 1981 and two interviews conducted by Paul Stillwell in October 1982.
  4. ^ a b Budge, Kent G. "The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia: McCrea, John L." Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  5. ^ a b c Helvig, Tom (Second Quarter 2012). "Vice Admiral John L. McCrea, USN" (PDF). The Iowan History Letter. Vol. 1, no. 2. Mt. Laurel, New Jersey. p. 2. Retrieved 2014-07-22.
  6. ^ "John Hood". Ship Histories. Naval History & Heritage Command. Archived from the original on 2014-07-27. Retrieved 2014-07-22. John Hood (DD-655)...Rear Admiral J. L. McCrea's Task Force 92...
  7. ^ a b c SNAC: The Social Networks and Archival Context Project. "McCrea, John L. (John Livingstone), 1891–". University of Virginia. Retrieved 2014-07-22.
  8. ^ a b "McCrea, John L., Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.)". US Naval Institute Oral Histories Available in the Navy Department Library. Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 2014-07-22.
  9. ^ The Conferences at Washington, 1941–1942, and Casablanca, 1943. Foreign Relations of the United States. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. 1968. p. 608.
  10. ^ "USS Iowa History – World War II". Los Angeles, CA: Pacific Battleship Center. Archived from the original on 2017-12-26. Retrieved 2014-07-22.
  11. ^ "Iowa". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Washington, D.C.: Naval History & Heritage Command. Retrieved 2014-07-22. On 24 February, Iowa put to sea for shakedown in Chesapeake Bay and along the Atlantic coast. She got underway, 27 August for Argentia, Newfoundland to neutralize the threat of German Battleship Tirpitz which was reportedly operating in Norwegian waters. In the fall, Iowa carried President Franklin D. Roosevelt to Casablanca, French Morocco on the first leg of his journey to the Teheran Conference in November. After the conference she returned the President to the United States. As Flagship of Battleship Division 7, Iowa departed the United States 2 January 1944 for the Pacific Theatre and her combat debut in the campaign for the Marshalls. From 29 January to 3 February, she supported carrier air strikes made by Rear Admiral Frederick C. Sherman's task group against Kwajalein and Eniwetok Atolls in the Marshall Islands. Her next assignment was to support air strikes against the Japanese Naval base at Truk, Caroline Islands. Iowa, in company with other ships was detached from the support group 16 February 1944 to conduct an anti-shipping sweep around Truk to destroy enemy naval vessels escaping to the north. On 21 February, she was underway with Fast Carrier Task Force 58 while it conducted the first strikes against Saipan, Tinian, Rota, and Guam in the Marianas. On 18 March, Iowa, flying the flag of Vice Admiral Willis A. Lee, Commander Battleships, Pacific, joined in the bombardment of Mili Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Although struck by two Japanese 4.7" projectiles during the action, Iowa suffered negligible damage. She then rejoined Task Force 58, 30 March, and supported air strikes against the Palau Islands and Woleai of the Carolines which continued for several days. From 22 to 28 April 1944, Iowa supported air raids on Hollandia, Aitape, and Wakde Islands to support Army forces on Aitape, Tanahmerah Bay, and Humboldt Bay in New Guinea. She then joined the Task Force's second strike on Truk, 29–30 April, and bombarded Japanese facilities on Ponape in the Carolines, 1 May. In the opening phases of the Marianas campaign, Iowa protected the flattops during air strikes on the islands of Saipan, Tinian, Guam, Rota, and Pagan, 12 June. Iowa was then detached to bombard enemy installations on Saipan and Tinian, 13–14 June. On 19 June, in an engagement known as the Battle of the Philippine Sea, Iowa, as part of the battle line of Fast Carrier Task Force 58, helped repel four massive air raids launched by the Japanese Middle Fleet. This resulted in the almost complete destruction of Japanese carrier-based aircraft. Iowa then joined in the pursuit of the fleeing enemy Fleet, shooting down one torpedo plane and assisting in splashing another. Thoroughout July, Iowa remained off the Marianas supporting air strikes on the Palaus and landings on Guam.
  12. ^ "USS John Hood (DD-655)". Somerset, Massachusetts: The National Association of Destroyer Veterans. Retrieved 2014-07-22. operating with Rear Admiral J. L. McCrea's Task Force 92.

Further reading[edit]

  • Lundstrom, John B. (2006). Black Shoe Carrier Admiral: Frank Jack Fletcher at Coral Sea, Midway, and Guadalcanal. Naval Institute Press.

External links[edit]