Keep Oral Histories coming through your tax-deductible donation now.

Colwell, John Barr (1909-2008)

Vice Admiral John Barr<br />
Colwell, USN(Ret.)

Colwell, John Barr (1909-2008)
Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy (Retired)

Based on eight interviews conducted by John T. Mason, Jr., from April 1973 through February 1974. The volume contains 290 pages of interview transcript plus an index. The transcript is copyright 2002 by the U.S. Naval Institute; the interviewee has placed no restrictions on its use. This is a revised version of the original, which was issued in 1974. The new version has been completely retyped, annotated with footnotes, and given a detailed index.

After 1931 graduation from the Naval Academy, Colwell served in the battleship Maryland, on the Battle Force staff in the California, and in the four-stack destroyers Rathburne and Aaron Ward. He did postgraduate work in ordnance engineering and a 1939-42 tour in the battleship Idaho. In 1942 was gunnery officer in Halsey's South Pacific Force; later CO of the Converse, making forays towards Truk as a part of Admiral Burke's destroyer squadron, "Little Beavers." Long tour at the Naval Proving Ground at Dahlgren, then was XO/CO of the Missouri, on CinCPacFlt staff, and in the Bureau of Ordnance. In 1953-54 he was EA to Deputy Secretary of Defense Roger Kyes. A high point of his career was serving as deputy to Admiral Red Raborn during the development of Polaris. Was CO of the oiler Elokomin and USS Galveston, first guided missile light cruiser. As a flag officer, Colwell was Commander Amphibious Group Four; Director of CNO's Long Range Objective Group; Commander Amphibious Force Pacific Fleet; and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Fleet Operations and Readiness). He retired in 1969.


Conferences and Events

View All

From the Press

23 February - Seminar

Sat, 2019-02-23

David F. Winkler

3 March - Lecture

Sun, 2019-03-03

Stephen A. Bourque

Why Become a Member of the U.S. Naval Institute?

As an independent forum for over 140 years, the Naval Institute has been nurturing creative thinkers who responsibly raise their voices on matters relating to national defense.

Become a Member Renew Membership