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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Normandy Campaign (1944)/Operation Overlord
From Month/Year
June / 1944
To Month/Year
June / 1944

Description
The Normandy landings (codenamed Operation Neptune) were the landing operations on 6 June 1944 (termed D-Day) of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. The largest seaborne invasion in history, the operation began the invasion of German-occupied western Europe, led to the restoration of the French Republic, and contributed to an Allied victory in the war.

Planning for the operation began in 1943. In the months leading up to the invasion, the Allies conducted a substantial military deception, codenamed Operation Bodyguard, to mislead the Germans as to the date and location of the main Allied landings. The weather on D-Day was far from ideal, but postponing would have meant a delay of at least two weeks, as the invasion planners had requirements for the phase of the moon, the tides, and the time of day that meant only a few days in each month were deemed suitable. Hitler placed German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in command of German forces and of developing fortifications along the Atlantic Wall in anticipation of an Allied invasion.

The amphibious landings were preceded by extensive aerial and naval bombardment and an airborne assault—the landing of 24,000 British, US, and Canadian airborne troops shortly after midnight. Allied infantry and armoured divisions began landing on the coast of France starting at 06:30. The target 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast was divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword Beach. Strong winds blew the landing craft east of their intended positions, particularly at Utah and Omaha. The men landed under heavy fire from gun emplacements overlooking the beaches, and the shore was mined and covered with obstacles such as wooden stakes, metal tripods, and barbed wire, making the work of the beach clearing teams difficult and dangerous. Casualties were heaviest at Omaha, with its high cliffs. At Gold, Juno, and Sword, several fortified towns were cleared in house-to-house fighting, and two major gun emplacements at Gold were disabled using specialised tanks.

The Allies failed to achieve all of their goals on the first day. Carentan, St. Lô, and Bayeux remained in German hands, and Caen, a major objective, was not captured until 21 July. Only two of the beaches (Juno and Gold) were linked on the first day, and all five bridgeheads were not connected until 12 June. However, the operation gained a foothold that the Allies gradually expanded over the coming months. German casualties on D-Day were around 1,000 men. Allied casualties were at least 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead. Museums, memorials, and war cemeteries in the area host many visitors each year.

Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, the Allied operation that launched the successful invasion of German-occupied western Europe during World War II. The operation commenced on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings (Operation Neptune, commonly known as D-Day). A 1,200-plane airborne assault preceded an amphibious assault involving more than 5,000 vessels. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on 6 June, and more than three million allied troops were in France by the end of August.

The decision to undertake a cross-channel invasion in 1944 was taken at the Trident Conference in Washington in May 1943. General Dwight D. Eisenhower was appointed commander of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), and General Bernard Montgomery was named as commander of the 21st Army Group, which comprised all the land forces involved in the invasion. The Normandy coast was chosen as the site of the invasion, with the Americans assigned to land at Utah and Omaha Beaches, the British at Sword and Gold Beaches, and Canadians at Juno Beach. To meet the conditions expected on the Normandy beachhead, special technology was developed, including two artificial ports called Mulberry harbours and an array of specialised tanks nicknamed Hobart's Funnies. In the months leading up to the invasion, the Allies conducted a substantial military deception, Operation Bodyguard, using both electronic and visual misinformation. This misled the Germans as to the date and location of the main Allied landings. Hitler placed German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in charge of developing fortifications all along the Atlantic Wall in anticipation of an invasion.

The Allies failed to reach their goals for the first day, but gained a tenuous foothold that they gradually expanded as they captured the port at Cherbourg on 26 June and the city of Caen on 21 July. A failed counterattack by German forces on 8 August led to 50,000 soldiers of the German 7th Army being trapped in the Falaise pocket. The Allies launched an invasion of southern France (Operation Dragoon) on 15 August, and the Liberation of Paris followed on 25 August. German forces retreated across the Seine on 30 August 1944, marking the close of Operation Overlord.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
June / 1944
To Month/Year
June / 1944
 
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
   
Personal Memories
   
Units Participated in Operation

USS No Name (LST-523)

 
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  226 Also There at This Battle:
  • Abbott, Earl James, Cox, (1943-1946)
  • Adams, Richard W, PO2, (1943-1947)
  • Barr, Eldon
  • Brannon, Roscoe, CPO, (1939-1969)
  • Campbell, Donald Christenberry, ENS, (1943-1945)
  • Coy, Joseph W., PO1, (1944-1950)
  • Crum, C. Ross, PO1, (1941-1946)
  • Dusenbury, Robert, PO1, (1943-1967)
  • Floyd, Clifford Grosvenor, LT, (1942-1959)
  • Freeman, William, PO2, (1941-1945)
  • Goodman, Dave
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