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 10, 2012
    PJ Trotta says:
    It was my honor to have served under you as plank owners of the U.S.S. Annapolis, AGMR-1. You were my Captain and role model and you will be missed.

  • October 10, 2012
    bob ryan says:
    May he live in the kingdom forever

  • October 11, 2012
    John Withers, ETN3 says:
    My sincere condolences to the Rowan family. I served on the USS Annapolis from Jan 1967 - Jan 1968 and, unfortunately, never had the opportunity to serve under Captain Rowan. As a member of the "Greatest Generation", Captain Rowan faithfully served his country throughout his long career. May he rest in peace.

  • October 11, 2012
    daniel w field dc2 says:
    to the family,as a plank owner captian rowan was an insperation to me as the years of my life go by.heart felt sympathy for the family.plank owner daniel w field

  • October 10, 2012
    D. F. Martini says:
    Your careful guidance of young sailors in your command was an inspiration in my future responsibilities. God be with you, a noble gentleman.