Ford, John, RADM

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
22 kb
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Last Rank
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Last Primary NEC
647X-Limited Duty Officer - Photography
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1951-1951, 8853, HQs - Chief Naval Reserve Force
Service Years
1934 - 1955
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Cold War
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Rear Admiral Upper Half

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

45 kb

Home State
Maine
Maine
Year of Birth
1895
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Joseph Logan (Joe), AWF1 to remember Ford, John (Jack), RADM USN(Ret).

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Contact Info
Home Town
Cape Elizabeth
Last Address
Hollywood

Date of Passing
Aug 31, 1973
 
Location of Interment
Holy Cross Cemetery - Culver City, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot: M, L304, 5

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin US Navy Retired 20


 Unofficial Badges 

US Naval Reserve Honorable Discharge Cold War Medal Cold War Veteran




 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

In civil life, Rear Admiral Ford wrote, directed, or produced more than 130 films in a career spanning four decades. He was awarded the Photoplay Magazine Gold Medal in 1928; the Critics Award in 1935 (for directing The Informer), in 1939 (for Stagecoach), and in 1940 (for The Long Voyage Home and The Grapes of Wrath); the Foreign Press Club Award and the Belgian Prix du Roi in 1935; and the Academy Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Directorial Award in 1935 and 1940. Additionally, he won Oscar Awards for The Informer, The Grapes of Wrath, How Green Was My Valley (1941), The Quiet Man (1952) and the documentary for the US Navy, The Battle of Midway (1942). In 1973 he received the American Film Institute's first Lifetime Achievement Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He was a Member of the Motion Picture Directors Association and the Screen Directors Guild, and held various awards from foreign countries.

Rear Admiral Ford passed away 31 August 1973 in Palm Springs, California.

   
Other Comments:

From:  www.history.navy.mil/bios/ford_john.htm


John Ford was born at Cape Elizabeth, Maine, on 1 February 1895. He was graduated from the public schools of Portland, Maine, in 1914, attended the University of Maine, Orono, Maine, from which he received an honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts in 1939, and directed motion pictures from 1920 on for the following Hollywood studios in Hollywood, California: Universal, Fox, United Artists, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Radio-Keiths-Orpheum (RKO), and Twentieth Century-Fox. He entered the United States Naval Reserve on 3 October 1934 in the rank of Lieutenant Commander and on 11 September 1941 reported for active duty. He was promoted to Commander, 7 October 1941, and to Captain on 17 August 1945 to rank from 10 June 1943. He was placed on the Honorary Retired List in the rank of Rear Admiral on 1 May 1951.


In 1940, while on inactive duty in the Naval Reserve, he received a Letter of Commendation from the Commandant, Eleventh Naval District, for his "initiative in securing valuable information on California." In September 1941, after completing the direction of the motion picture How Green Was My Valley, and twenty-five years in the motion picture industry, he reported for active duty in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, Washington, DC. He had additional duty in the Office of Coordinator of Information, Photographic Presentation Branch, and while serving in that assignment made a historical and pictorial record in motion-picture photography of the Pearl Harbor attack.


From December 1941 until May 1943 he had temporary duties, in addition to his assignment in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, in the Canal Zone, Caribbean, South Atlantic Areas (December 1941); the Hawaiian Area (January 1942 and May 1942); European Theatre (August 1942); and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (April 1943). In June 1942 he was in Midway during the battle for that island, observing and obtaining a photographic record from atop the Midway Island powerhouse, an obvious and clear target. He survived continuous attack and even though wounded was able to render a verbal report of the battle action, such information greatly aiding the Commanding Officer in the disposition of the defending American forces. In addition to photographing The Battle of Midway, later released by the War Activities Committee, he scored it and added dialogue.


He received a Letter of Commendation from the Commandant, Fourteenth Naval District "For distinguished service in the line of his profession when on June 4, 1942, the Naval Air Station, Midway Island, was severely bombed and strafed by Japanese aircraft. Despite his exposed position he remained at his station and reported to the Navy Command Center an accurate account of the attack, thereby aiding the Commanding Officer in determining his employment of the defending forces. His courage and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Naval service."


He also was awarded the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received off Midway Island on 4 June 1942.


On 8 June 1943 he reported for duty in the Office of Strategic Services, Washington, DC, as Officer in Charge, Field Photographic Division, with additional duty as Director of Motion Pictures. The following August he had temporary additional duty as Technical Observer in the Burma-India-China Area. In April 1944 he served as Technical Observer with the Branch Office, Office of Strategic Services, London, England, in connection with the accomplishment of various reconnaissance flights in combat areas in preparation of strategic motion picture sequences from air.


In the Invasion of Normandy, June 1944, he organized the seaborne Allied photographic effort in the Invasion and was the Commanding Officer of the United States Navy and Coast Guard, and the Polish, French, and Dutch camera Crews. In November 1944, after his return to the United States, he was temporarily released form active duty to return to Hollywood to work with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer on production and direction of the motion picture They Were Expendable, which portrayed PT boat activity in the United States Navy.


   
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Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Battle of Midway
From Month/Year
June / 1942
To Month/Year
June / 1942

Description
The Battle of Midway in the Pacific Theater of Operations was one of the most important naval battles of World War II. Between 4 and 7 June 1942, only six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, and one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea, the United States Navy (USN), under Admirals Chester W. Nimitz, Frank Jack Fletcher, and Raymond A. Spruance decisively defeated an attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), under Admirals Isoroku Yamamoto, Chuichi Nagumo, and Nobutake Kondo on Midway Atoll, inflicting irreparable damage on the Japanese fleet. Military historian John Keegan called it "the most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare." It was Japan's first naval defeat since the Battle of Shimonoseki Straits in 1863.

The Japanese operation, like the earlier attack on Pearl Harbor, sought to eliminate the United States as a strategic power in the Pacific, thereby giving Japan a free hand in establishing its Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. The Japanese hoped that another demoralizing defeat would force the U.S. to capitulate in the Pacific War and thus ensure Japanese dominance in the Pacific.

The Japanese plan was to lure the United States' aircraft carriers into a trap. The Japanese also intended to occupy Midway as part of an overall plan to extend their defensive perimeter in response to the Doolittle air raid on Tokyo. This operation was also considered preparatory for further attacks against Fiji, Samoa, and Hawaii itself.

The plan was handicapped by faulty Japanese assumptions of the American reaction and poor initial dispositions.Most significantly, American codebreakers were able to determine the date and location of the attack, enabling the forewarned U.S. Navy to set up an ambush of its own. Four Japanese aircraft carriers—Akagi, Kaga, Soryu and Hiryu, all part of the six-carrier force that had attacked Pearl Harbor six months earlier—and a heavy cruiser were sunk at a cost of one American aircraft carrier and a destroyer. After Midway and the exhausting attrition of the Solomon Islands campaign, Japan's shipbuilding and pilot training programs were unable to keep pace in replacing their losses, while the U.S. steadily increased its output in both areas.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
June / 1942
To Month/Year
June / 1942
 
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
John Ford

  332 Also There at This Battle:
  • Banzuelo, Antonio, MCPO, (1930-1960)
  • Besson, John Henry, RADM, (1931-1959)
  • Betty, Charles, PO2, (1941-1945)
  • De Noma, George Robert, PO2, (1942-1945)
  • Delchamps, Newton, MCPO, (1941-1965)
  • Earnest, Albert, CAPT, (1941-1972)
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