John F. Shafroth, Jr.
USS West Virginia
John F. Shafroth, Jr. graduated from the Naval Academy in 1908. He was an instructor at the Army War College, navigator on USS Arkansas, executive officer of the USS West Virginia from 1933-1935 and CO of USS Indianapolis from 1938-1940. At the outbreak of WWII, he was on Admiral Nimitz’ staff at the Bureau of Navigation. He commanded COMCRUDIV 3, COMBATDIV 8, COMBATRON 2, and was Inspector General of the Pacific Fleet. He retired in 1949 as Vice Admiral. During his service he was awarded the Navy Cross, Legion of Merit, and Gold Star medals. Considered America’s biggest Admiral, “Big Jack” Shafroth weighed 280 pounds and he was present on USS Missouri for the Japanese surrender that ended World War II. He was president of the Naval Historical Foundation from 1961-1967.
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