Capt. John Joseph Rowan

September 6, 1919 - October 6, 2012
Capt. John Joseph Rowan

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Capt. John Joseph Rowan, USN (Ret), age 93, resident of Williamsburg, VA, died on October 6, 2012. He is survived by his loving wife, Mary, of more than 69 years; his three sons, John, William, and Timothy; five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy Class of 1942 and served mostly in the Pacific during World War II. He survived the sinkings of two ships (Vincennes and DeHaven) during actions at Guadalcanal and was wounded on both occasions. In late August 1945 he was the senior officer of the boarding party from the USS Blue that accepted the surrender of the Japanese Submarine I-400, then the worldís largest submarine. He also received a citation for his participation on the Vincennes during the Jimmy Doolittle Tokyo Raid. Following WWII he served in numerous assignments afloat and ashore which culminated as the Commissioning and the Commanding Officer, USS Annapolis, AGMR-1, the Navyís first afloat Naval Communications Station. In April 1965 he reported to the Staff, U.S. CINCEUR, in Paris, France as the Chief, Plans and Policy Division (J-6) HQ, USEUCOM. In March 1967, HQ EUCOM moved from Paris to Stuttgart, Germany. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his participation in planning the move of U.S. Communications Systems from France to Germany. In addition to the Legion of Merit, Captain Rowan is authorized to wear two Purple Hearts, the Asiatic-Pacific Theater ribbon with nine battle stars, and numerous other Campaign/Service ribbons. Upon retirement in July 1969 Captain Rowan was employed by Computer Sciences Corporation for the next 19 years. He was a Life Member of the Knights of Columbus. Services will be conducted at St Bede Roman Catholic Church, 3686 Ironbound Road, Williamsburg, VA on Thursday, October 11, at 9am. Interment will be in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.


Thursday, October 11, 2012
12:00 AM

Saint Bede Catholic Church - Directions
3686 Ironbound Road
Williamsburg, VA 23188

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  • October 13, 2012
    Roy Stofleth says:
    A sailors sailor. Fair winds and following seas.

  • October 10, 2012
    David Lamberth says:
    A very humble man that did so much for this nation. He was higly respected by all and a true American hero. Fair winds and following seas, captain. We will miss you.

  • October 11, 2012
    Ferdinand G. Prehn says:
    As a Plank owner and part of the USS Annapolis Commissioning crew. I thought his leadership was something to follow. May He rest in peace. Fair winds and fowwowing seas my shipmate.

  • October 11, 2012
    Lawrence D. Higgins says:
    As a plank owner of the USS Annapolis, and one of the first crew members of this ship, I send my deepest sympathy to my former CO's family. He was a fine and noble officer, and I was fortunate to be in his command.

  • October 11, 2012
    Tom Morrison says:
    As a plank owner, I am prowled to have served under captain Rowan from Feb. 64 to Jun. 65. He will be missed.