John Blair Gragg was born October 6, 1907 in Saginaw, Michigan to Edward Ambrose and Margaret Evans Gragg. Both parents were born in Indiana, Edward was a shipping clerk when John was born.
John graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1930. He served aboard the West Virginia until May 1936 when he was ordered to China for two years aboard the Mindinao, a river gunboat. He served on the Steward and the Sacramento and went back to P. G. School at Annapolis and Senior Marine course at Quantico, VA
From 1939-60 he served on Cincinnati(1939-40), Madison(1940-41), Roper(1944-45), O’Brien, several destroyer Divisions, and as CO of Olmstead (1951-52), two tours at Bupers (1945-47, 1950-51) and did mine sweeping in Japan (1947-51)
John graduated from the Industrial College(1952-55) in Washington, D.C. and returned later as the head of a department there for three years.
His last assignment was at the 12th Naval District in San Francisco as Personal Officer. He retired in 1960. He has one daughter, three grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
As a civilian he worked 6 years in real estate in Oakland, CA. In 1967, he traveled in his RV. He bought a house in San Clemente in 1971 (2800 sq. ft. plus swimming pool.) He moved to LaJolla in 1994 and to San Antonio in 1996.
Captain, Bronze Star. 2 Letters of Accommodation,
—Written by John Gragg in April, 2003 for the book “Green Dragons”, Turner Publishing Company.
Above is the Water Polo Club at Annapolis, from U. S. Naval Academy yearbook. 1928. John Gragg is in third row, fourth from the left.
Above is The N Club at Annapolis, from U. S. Naval Academy Yearbook,. 1930. John Gragg is in back row, seventh from the left , he the first of the two tall men.
USS O'Brien (DD 725) and Golden Gate Bridge John was commander from Apilr 26 1945 - Octobe 19 1945.
Title: Nimitz with Japanese Officers and Sundial Caption: Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN, entertains officers of the Japanese Defense Agency, at his home in Berkeley, California, on 25 January 1959. L to R: Captain John B. Gragg, USN, (of 12th Naval District), Captain T. Tsuzuki, Commander H. Samejima, Rear Admiral H. Ishiwata, Lieutenant H. Iwashima, Fleet Admiral Nimitz, Captain C.S. Kirkpatrick, USN, (Naval attaché, Tokyo), and Admiral M. Ihara. Note the sundial in the admiral's garden.