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Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
113X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Special Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1977-1978, CNO - OPNAV/Pentagon Navy Command Center (NCC)
Service Years
1947 - 1978

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

147 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember MITCHELL, John, CAPT.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Youngstown, OH
Last Address
Virginia Beach, VA

Date of Passing
May 30, 2011
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

US Navy Retired 30

 Unofficial Badges 

US Navy Honorable Discharge

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Captain John Robert Cummings Mitchell, U.S.N.

Capt. John R.C. Mitchell, USN Retired, 81, was born in Youngstown, OH, graduated from Quincy High School in 1947*, from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1952 and received his Navy Wings in 1953. He was a veteran having served in the US Navy for 28 years and was a candidate for the Mercury Astronaut Program. Capt. Mitchell served as a Squadron Commander, Airgroup Commander, F-14 Project Manager NAVAIR, the Commanding Officer of the USS Sylvania and the USS John F. Kennedy. After retiring he went to work for a Navy Ship Repair Facility. He was a man of many talents, an artist, a writer, and a pilot.

*During hight school he enlisted in the Marine Corps's inactive reserve, participating in monthly drills for a year, attending a two-weeek "mini boot camp", passing a general education exam and high school graduation. In June 1947, he graduated high school and joined the Marine Corps. Completing all requirements as a Private First Class (PFC) he was appointed to the USNA as a midshipman in June 1948.

In February 1959 he went to Washington D.C. and found that he was a candidate for astronaut selection, but was not chosen. In 1962 he was again a candidate, but again he was not chosen. In 1965 he received a third invitation to apply for NASA, this time for the Fifth Astronaut Group. He declined their invitation.
Other Comments:

"The Right Stuff"

candidate for the Mercury Astronaut Program

Although he never made it into the NASA astronaut corps, retired U.S. Navy Captain John Mitchell nevertheless achieved a little serendipitous notoriety when he was featured in Tom Wolfe's best-selling book The Right Stuff - even if it was under the alias of Mitch Johnson, a man said to have had "an angel on his shoulder". (see uploaded documents: Attached account in reference to "The Right Stuff" from the book "Selecting the Mercury Seven: The Search for America's First Astronauts" by Colin Burgess).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

John Mitchell would have been a Rear Admiral, had he gone along with Jimmy Carter.   In an article titled "In Search of Real Leaders" in the January 2001 issue of the U.S. Naval Institute's Proceedings magazine, Captain James F. Kelly, Jr. declared, "One is not a leader by virtue of rank, nor does one inherit the 'mantle of leadership' merely by assuming command or other positions of authority. To be a leader, one practice leadership behaviors." He added, "Professional dissent at the risk of one's career has been a hallmark of some of the Navy's greatest heroes and leaders," one example he cites is that of Captain John R.C. Mitchell...  See the uploaded document titled: No stars for Captain Mitchell.

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 Ribbon Bar
Naval Aviator Wings
Command at Sea

 Duty Stations
US Marine Corps (USMC)US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)School Assignments - StaffNAS Kingsville TX
VF-193 GhostridersUSS Oriskany (CVA-34)NAS Patuxent River (NASPAX)NTPS - Navy Test Pilot School
US NavyNavy Astronautics Group (NAVASTROGRU)VF-74 BedevilersVF-101 Grim Reapers
USS Forrestal (CVA-59)Commander Naval Air Force (CNAF)VF-33 Tarsiers/StarfightersUSA War College
USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63)USS Constellation (CV-64)Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVAIRPAC)USS America (CVA-66)
Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVAIRPAC)CNO - OPNAVUSS Sylvania (AFS-2)USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67)
CNO - OPNAV/Pentagon Navy Command Center (NCC)
  1947-1948, US Marine Corps (USMC)
  1948-1952, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
  1952-1953, Naval Flight School
  1953-1954, NAS Kingsville TX
  1954-1957, VF-193 Ghostriders
  1955-1957, USS Oriskany (CVA-34)
  1957-1958, NAS Patuxent River (NASPAX)
  1957-1958, NTPS - Navy Test Pilot School
  1958-1959, Vought-Sikorsky
  1959-1960, Navy Astronautics Group (NAVASTROGRU)
  1960-1960, VF-74 Bedevilers
  1960-1961, VF-101 Grim Reapers/VF-101 Det Oceana
  1961-1964, VF-74 Bedevilers
  1961-1964, USS Forrestal (CVA-59)
  1964-1965, Commander Naval Air Force (CNAF)
  1965-1965, VF-101 Grim Reapers/VF-101 Det Key West
  1965-1967, VF-33 Tarsiers/Starfighters
  1967-1968, USA War College
  1968-1969, USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63)
  1969-1969, USS Constellation (CV-64)
  1969-1970, Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVAIRPAC)/Commander Carrier Air Wing 9 (CVW-9)
  1970-1970, USS America (CVA-66)
  1971-1972, Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVAIRPAC)
  1972-1974, Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO)/DCNO (Operations)
  1974-1975, USS Sylvania (AFS-2)
  1975-1977, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67)
  1977-1978, CNO - OPNAV/Pentagon Navy Command Center (NCC)
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval Academy
  1948-1952, United States Naval Academy
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Jul 28, 2019, General Photos
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