John Graham Johns Papers

1921-1955, undated
Manuscript Collection #410
Johns, John Graham, 1903-
Physical description
1.09 Cubic Feet, 600 items, consisting of orders, reports, memorandums, photographs, scrapbooks, correspondence, pamphlets, clippings, and miscellany.
Preferred Citation
John Graham Johns Papers (#410), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
Access to audiovisual and digital media is restricted. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Papers (1921-1955, undated) including orders, reports, memorandums, photographs, scrapbooks, correspondence, pamphlets, clippings, and miscellany.

Biographical/historical information

John Graham Johns (b. Sept. 1, 1903), a native of Kenton, Delaware, pursued a successful career in the U.S. Navy. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy and was graduated in 1925. He served aboard submarines and commanded submarine squadrons and divisions. Prior to his retirement with the rank of rear admiral in 1955, Johns worked at the Office of Priorities and Controls of the Munitions Board. Johns received several awards, including the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star.

Scope and arrangement

Naval Academy materials (1921-1925) constitute the most interesting portion of the collection. The scrapbook Johns assembled while a student at the academy contains clippings, photographs, pamphlets, and miscellany pertaining to the Annapolis campus, football games, social functions, and activities of Johns and his fellow midshipmen.

For further details about his career, see transcript and fitness reports in folder 410.1.d.

Of particular interest are photographs related to a 1923 practice cruise. They include views of the USS NORTH DAKOTA; Panama, the Panama Canal, and Gatun Lake; St. Thomas; Culebra Island, Puerto Rico; Halifax; Greenock, Glasgow, Edinburg, Scotland; Cadiz, Spain; Copenhagen; Gibraltar; London; Paris; and Ostend, Antwerp, and Flanders, Belgium. Photographs of Gothenburg, Sweden, depict many aspects of the World's Exposition of 1923. A file of academy miscellany includes a speech by Henry B. Wilson (Feb., 1925), programs of various functions (1924-1925), and a roster of members of the classes of 1909 to 1930.

Orders, reports, and memorandums dated 1925 through 1955 primarily concern Johns's various assignments and the high quality of service he rendered. Noteworthy items discuss a court of inquiry dealing with the grounding of the USS S-38 near Saddle Island (July, 1928), structural defects of the USS BONITA (Apr., 1937), effective training methods used by Johns off the Perlas Islands (Feb., 1945), the sale of submarines to Turkey (Dec., 1947), and the Office of Priorities and Controls of the Munitions Board ([May, 1952?]).

The collection contains photographs and printed material concerning the construction, launching, and service of three submarines: USS NAUTILUS; USS CUTTLEFISH; and USS SEADRAGON. Among the photographs in the SEADRAGON file is a view of President Franklin Roosevelt studying developments of "Fleet Problem Twenty" (1939). A scrapbook (1939-1940) contains clippings and correspondence concerning the SEADRAGON and Johns's command of it.

Also included in the collection are several files of photographs. Miscellaneous Navy-related photographs depict Johns, the USS DASHIELL (1952), the USS DORTCH (1952), the change of command aboard the USS CAPERTON (undated), the laying of the keel of the USS TARPON (1933), Chester W. Nimitz (1943), and Maurice Edwin Curts (1950). Personal photographs show Johns, members of his family, and his home. Commercial photographs of China depict the Temple of Heaven and the Winter Palace. Commercial photographs of World War I include views of airplanes, dead German soldiers, weapons, trenches, and battle scenes.

Additional files contain Johns's transcripts and fitness reports (1942-1955), his awards and certificates, photostatic copies of charts concerning submarine training in Panama (undated), and routine correspondence (1921-1944).

Personal material includes Johns's high school grade reports and genealogical notes concerning the Lober and Reynolds families.

A folder of miscellany includes a roster of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet and Station (1941) and printed material concerning the Navy.

A mimeographed book, The Diary of a Big-Game Hunter with Gun and Camera in Indo-China, concerns the hunting expedition (1937) of Dr. Clarence E. Fronk, a friend of Johns. Fronk describes his voyage to Manila aboard the freighter STEEL MARINER and the people, countryside, and wildlife in and around Saigon, Vietnam. He also describes big-game hunting techniques.

Administrative information
Custodial History

June 5, 1980, 315 items; Personal files (1922-1955) of U.S. Navy rear admiral, including correspondence, orders, memorandums, reports, photographs, clippings, scrapbooks, and miscellaneous. Loaned by Mrs. John G. Johns, Silver Springs, Md.

Source of acquisition

Loaned by Mrs. John G. Johns

Processing information

Processed by M. York, June 1981

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Key terms
Personal Names
Johns, John Graham, 1903-
Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945--Photographs
Family Names
Lober family
Reynolds family
Corporate Names
Cuttlefish (Submarine : SS-171)
Nautilus (Submarine : SS-168)
Seadragon (Submarine : SS-194)
United States Naval Academy
United States. Navy--Officers
United States. Navy--Submarine forces
Fronk, Clarence E. Diary of a big-game hunter

Container list
Box 1 Folder a Orders and Memoranda, 1925-1937
Box 1 Folder b Orders and Memoranda, 1938-1945
Box 1 Folder d Transcripts and Fitness Reports 1942-1955
Box 1 Folder e Awards and Certificates
Box 1 Folder f USS Cuttlefish material
Box 1 Folder g USS Seadragon Material
Box 1 Folder h USS Nautilus Material
Box 1 Folder i Miscellaneous Navy-related Photographs
Box 2 Folder a Navy-related Miscellany
Box 2 Folder b Panama Training Charts, n.d
Box 2 Folder c Correspondence, 1921-1944
Box 2 Folder d Naval Academy Miscellany
Box 2 Folder e Personal Miscellany
Box 2 Folder f Personal Photographs
Box 2 Folder g Big Game Hunt Diary, 1937
Box 3 Naval Academy scrapbook
Box 4 SEADRAGON scrapbook
Folder os1 Certificate and Diploma