Howard, John, LTJG

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1943-1944, USS No name (YMS-24)
Service Years
1942 - 1945
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Lieutenant Junior Grade

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

53 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Howard, John (born John Richard Cox, Jr.), LTJG.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Cleveland Ohio
Last Address
Santa Rosa, California

Date of Passing
Feb 19, 1995
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin Amphibious Forces Patch Honorable Discharge Emblem (WWII)

 Unofficial Badges 

Blue Star Navy Officer Honorable Discharge

 Military Association Memberships
Famous People Who Served
  2015, Famous People Who Served [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

(aka actor John Howard)
WWII Navy Cross

AKA John Howard (April 14, 1913 - February 19, 1995) was an American actor noted for his work in film and television.

Born John Richard Cox, Jr. in Cleveland, Ohio, he was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of what is now Case Western Reserve University. At college he discovered a love for the theater, and took part in student productions. The good-looking and personable young Howard soon became a contract player for Paramount, working in a dozen pictures before getting his first memorable role as Ronald Colman's younger brother in Lost Horizon. He soon took over for Colman in the popular Bulldog Drummond series of films, starring in seven of the features (1937-39), and maintaining the film version of the detective as far more sophisticated than the original print character. Howard's next noteworthy assignment was as Katharine Hepburn's fiancé in The Philadelphia Story (1940).

He served in the Navy during World War II, eventually as Executive Officer aboard a minesweeper. When his vessel struck a mine off the French coast in August, 1944, killing the captain and severely damaging the ship, Howard took over command and fought valiantly to save his ship and crew, even jumping into the sea to save several wounded sailors. For his gallantry he was awarded both the US Navy Cross and the French Croix de Guerre.

Upon his return to Hollywood, Howard was given the lead in lesser projects, but limited to supporting roles in feature pictures. Even his solid performance as Laraine Day's husband in The High and the Mighty (1954) did not generate any opportunities to break the pattern.

Howard wasn't familiar or comfortable with the new system of agents, contrary to his acting upbringing of being owned by Paramount studios. A shy and modest man, Howard didn't have the assertiveness expected in an audition, and wasn't comfortable "selling himself" to a film. Between his shyness and not having an assertive agent, Howard's acting career tapered out.

Howard made his Broadway debut in Hazel Flagg in 1953, where he met his wife, ballerina/actress Eva Ralf. He found a great friendship with Fred MacMurray, star of My Three Sons, and was a regular guest star on the show, playing Fred MacMurray's boss. He became one of the first screen actors to commit to working in the new field of television and continued to make occasional film appearances until the mid-1970s, then gradually moved into academia. He taught English at Highland Hall Waldorf School for over twenty years, helping to start the high school program at Highland Hall.

He died in 1995 of heart failure, aged 81, in Santa Rosa, California, survived by his wife and their four children. He was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Other Comments:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to John Richard Cox, Jr., Lieutenant, Junior Grade, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Executive Officer of the U.S.S. YMS-24, during minesweeping operations in support of the invasion of Southern France on 16 August 1944. Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Cox took charge when his commanding officer became a casualty and labored to save his ship after her bow had been blown off by a mine. Failing in this, he directed the removal of the wounded and risked his life by entering every compartment in search of missing or trapped men. When another mine exploded under the stern of one of the rescue vessels alongside, he jumped into the water between the two foundering craft and rescued a critically injured man who was in danger of drowning. The conduct of Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Cox throughout this action reflects great credit upon himself, and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 334 (January 1945)

In memory of: LTjg Samuel R. Pruett, USNR
KIA 16 AUGUST 1944

Commanding Officer, minesweeper YMS-24

YMS-24 was sunk during Operation Dragoon at Red Beach
Mined and sunk off St. Tropez, France in position 43º25'N, 06º43'E

Operation Dragoon was the Allied invasion of southern France on August 15, 1944, during World War II. The invasion was initiated by an amphibious assault by elements of the U.S. Seventh Army, with a follow-up force made up primarily of the French First Army. Despite being a large and complex military operation with a well executed amphibious and airborne component, Operation Dragoon still remains largely unknown to this day.
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 Duty Stations
Surface Vessels USS No Name
  1943-1944, USS No name (YMS-24)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1945 World War II
  1944-1944 Normandy Campaign (1944)/Operation Overlord
  1944-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Southern France Campaign (1944)
 Colleges Attended 
Case Western Reserve University
  1931-1935, Case Western Reserve University
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  John R. Cox (John Howard) Navy Cross5
  Aug 16, 1944, LTjg Samuel R. Pruett, CO YMS-24
  Aug 05, 2012, General Photos
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