John T. Pigott: In His Own Words
I joined the Naval Institute 50 years ago, and emphatically recommend membership to all young men and women involved in the military. I grew up in San Francisco—then the major West Coast port and naval base—so it is not surprising that the sea and the ships that pass through the Golden Gate have always fascinated me. Nor is it surprising that I have long realized that control of the seas is essential to the safety and prosperity of the United States.
My first association with the Navy was through Uncle Van—Captain (later Rear Admiral) Clifford E. Van Hook, Naval Academy Class of 1909. When I was about 14, I was met at Pier 5 by the captain's gig—a magnificent mahogany motor boat complete with white rope tassels around the canopy—and taken to his new command, the USS Melville (AD-2), for lunch with the captain and a tour of the ship. Uncle Van was in command of the most intriguing grown-up toy I had ever seen; I think I felt envy.