A Sailors Story: Admiral John Sidney "Slew" McCain Sr.

Admiral John Sidney "Slew" McCain Sr was born on August 9, 1884, in Carroll County, Mississippi. and hadn't planned on being a sailor.

He had attended the University of Mississippi for a couple of years and even joined the Phi Delta Theta fraternity before deciding to enter the Military Academy.

He had planned to go to West Point, but Admiral John McCain chose to enter Annapolis after using U.S. Navy test preparation materials.

Graduating in 1906, he took part in the Great White Fleet's world tour, which took place from 1907 until 1909, returning to the U.S as a member of the USS Connecticut's crew. After that, Admiral John McCain was assigned to the Asiatic Squadron in San Diego.

Admiral Slew McCain served as the Executive Office of the USS Colorado, patrolling the Pacific coast of Mexico from 1914 to 1915 before joining the crew of the USS San Diego in September to provide convoy protection in the Atlantic during World War I. He was also briefly assigned to the Bureau of Navigation in mid-1918.

The '20s and early '30s saw Admiral John McCain assigned to various boats, including the USS Maryland, USS Mexico, and his first command aboard the USS Sirius.

Admiral Slew McCain then began his training at flight school, graduating in 1936, and was assigned to command the aircraft carrier USS. Ranger, a post he held until 1939. After this, he was given command of the Aircraft Scouting Force.

In May 1942, he was named Commander of Aircraft, South Pacific, in response to Pearl Harbor and the beginning of World War II, before his assignment as the head of the Bureau of Aeronautics in Washington. He was then promoted to Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Air.

Admiral John McCain returned to combat in August 1944, receiving command of a carrier group in Task Force 8. And was instrumental in the Marians Island Campaign and the battle on the Philippine Sea. Before taking command of Task Force 38, he led through the Battle of Okinawa. Admiral McCain is also known for turning to assist Admiral Sprague's team during the Battle Off Samar before receiving orders to do so, as he had been listening to the radio transmissions. His actions helped recover the planes launched in the initial attack, and his presence encouraged the Japanese withdrawal.

Admiral John Sidney McCain, long ready to retire, stayed through the surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945, before succumbing to a heart attack on September 6. He rests in Arlington Cemetary.


a.d. elliott is a wanderer, writer, and photographer currently living in Salem, Virginia. 

In addition to the travel writings at www.takethebackroads.com, you can also read her book reviews at www.riteoffancy.com and US military biographies at www.everydaypatriot.com

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