PERRY, John Richard, RADM

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Last Rank
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Last Service Branch
Civil Engineer
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1953-1955, Bureau of Yards and Docks
Service Years
1918 - 1955
Civil Engineer
Rear Admiral Upper Half

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

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Contact Info
Home Town
Waco, Texas
Last Address
Place of burial
Naval Academy Cemetery,
Annapolis, Maryland

Date of Passing
Sep 25, 1955
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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Sea Bees Badge

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Rear Admiral John Richard Perry

organizer of the Seabees during World War II

John R. Perry was born 24 May 1899 in Waco, Tex. He enlisted in the Navy for service in World War I, then entered the Naval Academy and was commissioned Ensign 8 June 1923. After serving in Marcus (DD-321), he earned a master's degree in civil engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He then served in the Bureau of Yards and Docks; in Cuba, the Great Lakes region, Florida, and the Philippines. He returned to the Bureau of Yards and Docks in 1938 and in 1941 became Director of Administration and Personnel. In this post he performed with such proficiency that he was awarded the Legion of Merit for remarkable initiative and excellent judgment in recruiting, organizing, training, equipping and distributing to outlying bases, the Navy's construction battalions. In the course of 1 year he made available for service in the field some 70,000 men who formed a vital component part of our military organization in World War II.

In 1944 Perry became Officer in Charge of the 2d Naval Construction Brigade with additional duty on the staff of Commander Service Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. The following year, he additionally became Commander, Construction Troops of the 7th Fleet. He was awarded a second Legion of Merit for the development of the Leyte-Samar area into a large naval base and assisting in the planning and construction of an air station, air strips, a fleet hospital, the Navy Receiving Station at Tubabao, a Navy Supply Depot, an ammunition depot and a snip repair base at Manicani. Through his engineering ingenuity, he greatly improved transportation facilities, sanitary installations and water supply lines, lines of communication, housing accommodations, storehouses and dumps, docking facilities and dredging operations.

At the close of World War II, Perry became Public Works Officer at the Naval Academy until 1948. He then was designated Assistant Chief for Operations in the Bureau of Yards and Docks. In July 1951 he assumed command of the Naval Construction Battalion Center, Port Hueneme, Calif. From June to October 1953, he served as Director of the Pacific and Alaskan Division, Bureau of Yards and Docks, with headquarters at San Francisco. He then became Chief of Civil Engineers of the Navy and Chief of- the Bureau of Yards and Docks, Navy Department, serving until he died of a heart attack 25 September 1955. Rear Admiral John R. Perry is buried in the Naval Academy Cemetery, Annapolis, Md.

John R. Perry (DE-1034) was laid down 4 January 1956 by Avondale Marine Ways, Avondale, La.; launched 29 July 1958; sponsored by Mrs. John R. Perry, widow of Rear Admiral Perry; and commissioned 5 May 1959, Lt. Comdr. W. L. Atkinson in command.

Other Comments:
A few men saw the need of such battalions in the autumn of 1941. On Dec. 28, blueprinted by Captain John Perry of the Civil Engineer Corps, U.S.N., they were launched. Their primary job: to build bases from which the Navy could fight a war with land-based support across 7,000 miles of Pacific ocean.

The Seabees went to work. When the Navy fighting units moved up, the Seabees moved with them. They carved off hillsides in Guadalcanal, bulldozed high ways, hacked out airfields. They moved into the Aleutians. They were with the invasion forces in North Africa, Sicily, Salerno. Today they are one of the Navy's most vital, loudest and lustiest outfits.
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 Duty Stations
RTC (Cadre/Faculty Staff) San Diego, CAUS NavyUS Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)Bureau of Yards and Docks
Naval District Washington, DC
  1918-1918, HQ, RTC (Cadre/Faculty Staff) San Diego, CA
  1918-1919, Naval Sea Units
  1919-1923, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
  1923-1925, USS Marcus (DD-321)
  1928-1930, Bureau of Yards and Docks
  1931-1933, Bureau of Yards and Docks
  1933-1937, Bureau of Yards and Docks
  1938-1941, Bureau of Yards and Docks
  1940-1944, Bureau of Yards and Docks
  1945-1948, Public Works Center (PWC), Naval District Washington, DC
  1951-1952, Bureau of Yards and Docks
  1953-1955, Bureau of Yards and Docks
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1918-1918 World War I
  1941-1945 World War II
 Colleges Attended 
Rice UniversityMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyUnited States Naval AcademyRensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  1916-1917, Rice University
  1917-1918, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  1919-1923, United States Naval Academy
  1925-1927, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Biography, Rear Admiral John R. Perry1
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