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John Duke (W4FMB)
March 21, 2003
John M. Duke, Jr., W4FMB
Captain John Morgan Duke, Jr., USN, (ret) 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, N. Y., Washington, D.C., and Charleston, S.C. 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.
Contributed by: KQ6Q (KQ6Q)
Captain John Duke, W4FMB, was an old and great friend, although we had not had much contact in the last six or seven years before his death. We became acquainted at the old club station (WB6GUI) at the Long Beach Naval Station in 1971, and we went on to work together helping to build the MARS station (N0NYL) in the Long Beach Naval Shipyard. John and his wife Evelyn always welcomed me into their home whenever I was visiting in California, and always made me feel at home.
Contributed by: Brad Bradfield (W5CGH)
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