John French Ryder – Captain, United States Navy

From a contemporary press report:

John French Ryder, 87, a retired Navy Captain who survived Japanese prisoner-of-war camps during World War II and later became an authority on mine warfare, died March 26, 2001, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center after a stroke.

Captain Ryder, an Arlington resident, was a native of Portland, Oregon, and a 1936 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.

At the outset of World War II, he sailed from Manila aboard the submarine Perch, which was damaged by a depth charge and scuttled in the Java Sea. He was recovered by Japanese troops and interrogated in Ofuna, Japan, for five months. He then spent three years in prisoner-of-war camps before being released in 1945.

Later in his 30-year career in the Navy, he taught mine warfare at the Naval War  College and served as a staff officer for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was a defense contracts administrator at the Defense Supply Agency in Cameron Station when he retired from active duty in 1966.

His military decorations included the Purple Heart.

His wife, Kathleen E. Ryder, died in 1995.

Survivors include two children, Lee K. Ryder of Falls Church and John E. Ryder of Evans, W.Va.; a sister; and a grandson.


On Monday, March 26, 2001, Of Arlington, VA. Beloved husband of the late Kathleen E. Ryder; devoted father of Lee K. Ryder and John E. Ryder; loving brother of Nonearle F. Ryder. Also survived by one grandson, John G. Ryder. Memorial service Tuesday, April 3, 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Baptist Church, 3455 N. Glebe Rd., Arlington, VA. Interment Arlington National Cemetery, April 16, 9 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his name to the US Navy Memorial  Foundation, PO Box 96570, Washington, DC 20077.

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