John Morgan Duke, Jr. – Captain, United States Navy

From contemporary press reports:

Captain John Morgan Duke, Jr., USN, (retired) 84 years old, of Los Alamitos, California was born April 17, 1918, in Wellington, Alabama. He grew up and attended High School in Gadsden, Alabama. After three years at Howard College he received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. While at the Academy he excelled in Mathematics and science. He also developed a keen interest in amateur radio operation which was to become a lifelong hobby. He was distinguished graduate of the Class of 1941.

With the outbreak of World War II he was assigned to the battleship Idaho. He was involved in campaigns in both the North Atlantic and the Pacific. Following the war, he completed his Masters Degree in Marine Engineering at MIT.

He met and married Evelyn in San Francisco in 1948.

The next several years of his naval career were spent on the East Coast with assignments in Brooklyn, New York, Washington, D.C., and Charleston, South Carolina.

In 1957 he was transferred to the San Francisco area with tour at Treasure Island and Hunters Point Naval Shipyards as the repair superintendent. In 1961, he became the production officer at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard. In 1967, he returned to the East Coast to command the Naval Division of the General Dyamics Shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts. In 1970, he returned to his beloved California as special assistant to the shipyard commander at Long Beach.

In 1972, after 31 years of distinguished service, he retired as the senior Captain in the Navy. John was not one to sit still for very long.

After a brief retirement of two years, he took on perhaps his most challenging but rewarding job as the Project Manager for the drilling ship the Glomar Challenger managed by the National Science Foundation. Following the completion of his tour with the Challenger he became a marine drilling consultant width Global Marine Engineering. He retired from his second career in 1983 to spend some much needed time traveling and enjoying his six grandchildren. He passed away after a long illness on March 21,2003 and will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


Captain JOHN MORGAN DUKE, JR. USN, Ret., 84, of Los Alamitos, California, went to be with the Lord on March 21, 2003 after a lengthy illness. He was born April 17, 1918 in Wellington, Alabama. He was a distinguished graduate of the Naval Academy Class of 1941. He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Evelyn E. Duke; a son, Dr. John M. Duke and wife, Susan of Corpus Christi, Texas; a son, Dr. Mark S. Duke and wife, Celine of Georgetown, Texas; six grandchildren and one great granddaughter. He is also survived by one brother, Colonel Russel A. Duke and wife, Rosalyn of Fairfax, Virginia.

Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday, April 25, 2003 at 9 a.m. with Full Military Honors.


Read our general and most popular articles

Leave a Comment