Brown, John Herbert, Jr., VADM

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Last Rank
Vice Admiral
Last Primary NEC
112X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Submarine Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1951-1954, 9420, 4th Naval District
Service Years
1914 - 1954
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Brown, John Herbert, Jr., VADM USN(Ret).

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
Canton, Pennsylvania
Last Address
Home of Records: Middletown Maryland

Date of Passing
Jun 10, 1963
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates

 Official Badges 

US Pacific Command US Navy Retired 30

 Unofficial Badges 

US Navy Honorable Discharge Diesel Boats Forever Officer

 Military Association Memberships
Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW)
  1945, Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW)

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

VAdm John Herbert "Babe" Brown, Jr. USN (Ret.)


John "Babe" Brown was in the Annapolis Naval Academy Graduating Class of 1914.

Commanding Officer of submarines USS C-2 (SS-13, Stingray) and USS G-4 (SS-26, Thrasher) in World War I, then N-5 and R-2 1919-1921, S-42 1924-1927 and Narwhal May 1930-May 1933. In October 1930, while Brown was in command of the USS V-5 submarine it set a U. S. Navy record by diving to a depth of 332 feet. He graduated from the Naval War College in 1940. Commanding Officer of the Richmond 1941-1942. Commander of Submarine Squadron Four June 1942-November 1943. Rear Admiral in January 1943. 

He was assigned to SUBCOMPAC commander at the Submarine Base, Pearl Harbor during WWII. This was after Commander Rear Admiral Robert English was killed in a plane crash in January of 1943. Captain Brown took over the duties of Admiral English until a replacement could be found. He was relieved of his temporary command by Rear Admiral Charles Lockwood Jr. who was assigned to that command.

Brown remained on Lockwood's staff and before the war ended. Lockwood had him promoted to Rear Admiral. His commands were Sea of Japan patrols, Submarine Squadron Four. His other accomplishments included a training program, torpedo tests and orginization of wolf packs. Brown was a wonderful officer and worked endlessly to keep the war effort going. 

He was the Commander of Submarine Training Command from 1943 to 1945 where he was instrumental in creating the Submarine Lifeguard League that rescued pilots that were shot down in combat during WW II. He became a Vice Admiral upon retirement in February 1954.

Other Comments:

Brown was born in Canton, Pennsylvania, in 1891. He attended the United States Military Academy where he played college football. He was selected as a consensus first-team guard on the 1913 College Football All-America Team. He accounted for all of Navy's points (two field goals) in a 6 to 0 victory in the 1913 Army–Navy Game.

He graduated in 1914 with the rank of ensign. Brown later served as president of the National Football Foundation and was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951. He was also selected in 1951 by a board of Navy football authorities as the greatest player in Navy football history.

Navy decorations included Distinguished Service Medals and Legion of Merit (twice).  He was the founder of the Submarine Lifeguard League, formed in early 1943 until August 1945. In doing so, a total of 518 Airmen were rescued from a watery grave or certain capture by the enemy.

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  1928-1933, 112X, USS Narwhal (SS-167)

Lieutenant Commander

From Month/Year
- / 1928

To Month/Year
May / 1933

USS Narwhal (SS-167) Unit Page

Lieutenant Commander

112X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Submarine Warfare

Not Specified

Not Specified
 USS Narwhal (SS-167) Details

USS Narwhal (SS-167)

Sub-Surface Vessels

Not Specified

Parent Unit


Created/Owned By
ET McPhillips, Thomas, Jr. (SS)(Mac), ET3 276

Last Updated: Apr 11, 2016
Memories For This Unit

Chain of Command
LCdr John Brown commanded the Narwhal May 1930-May 1933. In October 1930, Brown was in command of the USS V-5 submarine when it set a U. S. Navy record by diving to a depth of 332 feet.

My Photos For This Duty Station
V-5 (SC-1) Narwahl (SS-167)
5 Members Also There at Same Time
USS Narwhal (SS-167)

Pendleton, Perley Earl, RADM, (1916-1950) OFF 112X Lieutenant
Knops, Harry Theodore, CPO, (1926-1944) EM EM-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Bedard, Leo Joseph Isaie, CPO, (1928-1942) F1c F1c-0000 Fireman 1st Class
Christie, Ralph Waldo, VADM, (1915-1949) Lieutenant Commander
Smoot, Roland Nesbit, VADM, (1923-1962) Lieutenant

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