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John Sidney McCain, Jr. is Born

Today in Masonic History John Sidney McCain, Jr. is born in 1911.

John Sidney McCain, Jr. was an American admiral.

McCain was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The family did not reside there though, McCain's mother was traveling to see her sisters and on the trip McCain was born. Like many children of Military parents, McCain's father was a Naval Officer, McCain grew up at various Naval Stations. He would graduate from Central High School in Washington, D.C.

At the age of 16, McCain would enter the United States Naval Academy. McCain would eventually graduate from the academy, although he would earn many demerits and would perform a lot of extra duty. Regarding this McCain said "I was known as a 'ratey' plebe, and that's the plebe who does not conform always to the specific rules and regulations of the upperclassmen. Some of these upperclassmen would ... require you to do such things which only incited rebellion and mutiny in me."

After graduation, McCain was stationed in California on the USS Oklahoma. He tried to become a Naval Aviator and was rejected due to a heart murmur. He would be accepted to Naval Submarine School in Groton, Connecticut.

Before heading back east for Submarine School, McCain would meet Roberta Wright who was attending college in California. In 1933 the couple would elope to Tijuana, Mexico when Roberta's mother disapproved of their relationship based on the fact that McCain was sailor. The couple would have three children their oldest Jean, their youngest Joseph and their middle, and most well known son, John Sidney McCain III who is a United States Senator from Arizona and who has run unsuccessfully for president.

At the start of World War II, McCain was given command of the submarine Gunnel. The Gunnel would serve a brief period in the North Atlantic before being sent to Pearl Harbor to serve in the South Pacific. McCain was well suited, if not better suited for submarine warfare then most of his contemporaries. Many submarine commanders in the south pacific focused on rigid military tactics, where McCain was more apt to improvise as the situation required. This ability served him well, one month obtaining the highest gross tonnage sank and on another occasion he was one of only a handful of United States Submarine Commanders to fire on a Japanese Aircraft Carrier.

After the war, McCain served on several vessels in the Pacific fleet. He would then be assigned to various posts at the Pentagon, alternating with various sea going commands. In between, McCain would visit his son, John III, at the U.S. Naval Academy to chastise his son for performance issues. A biographer once wrote "Few fathers and sons could have been more alike as adolescents than Jack McCain and John Sidney III: Youthful rebellion seemed encoded in their DNA."

While in Washington D.C. McCain and his wife socialized with many important Washington figures. McCain, who in 1958 was promoted to Rear Admiral, was called to testify before Congress on matters regarding the United States Navy. His testimony and his staunch advocacy for better Naval strength earned him the nickname "Mr. Seapower".

In 1968, at the height of the Vietnam War, McCain would be named the Commander in Chief, Pacific Command (CINCPAC). He would hold that position until 1972 when, despite his requests, President Nixon would appoint his successor. In September of that same year a transfer of command ceremony was held at Pearl Harbor. The ceremony would effectively be his retirement ceremony, McCain would retire two months later.

McCain was made a Mason On Sight in 1975. He was a member of St. John's Lodge No. 11 and received his 33rd degree.