John Anglin was born on December 4, 1911, in West Texas, grew up on a cotton farm in East Texas, and joined the Navy in
Dallas, originally in 1931. After his recruit training in San Diego, he was assigned to a four-year tour with the USS Oklahoma and various submarines of SubDiv 11 at Pearl Harbor.
He returned to civilian life at the
conclusion of his tour, and from 1935 to 1939 he worked for the Fox West Coast Theatres in California, managing movie houses in Pasadena and Modisto. Missing his former adventures at sea, in 1939 Anglin re-enlisted in
the Navy and was assigned as a yeoman to the USS Marblehead on duty in Asiatic waters as the storm clouds of war began to gather over the Pacific. His regular duty station transitioned from yeoman for the Engineering
Department to the position of the Captain's yeoman, where he managed Captain Robinson's correspondence, message traffic, etc. In early 1942 he fought beside the other men of the 'Marby' in the battlesof the Java Sea and
Macassar Straits, serving in battle station of "captain's talker" on the bridge.
Upon the Marblehead's heroic return to the States and entry into drydock for extensive repairs and renovation, Anglin turned
around and shipped out to sea again, this time aboard the USS Birmingham where he participated in the invasion of Sicily and various raids on Pacific islands. During this time, the Birmingham was knocked out of action
twice by enemy planes.
In 1944 he was transferred to the USS Anthedon (AS24), fighting the "Battle of Freemantle." It was onboard the Anthedon, as a newly promoted Lieutenant JG, that he became
known as "the man who saved the ship." At sea in October 1944, while standing as assistant officer of the watch, Anglin suddenly yelled the order "Left Full Rudder - - Call the captain - - Torpedo wake on
the port bow!" Only seconds later two torpedo wakes paralleled the Anthedon to starboard, a narrow miss made possible by quick action.
After the war, Anglin was rewarded with shore duty, spending three years at ComOne in Boston, and six months at NAS Quonset
Point. From 1949 to 1953 Anglin served with VU-4 at Chincoteague, Va., and was transferred to the USS Orion, a submarine tender home-ported in Norfolk, Va., in February 1953.
In early 1955 Anglin was
assigned to recruiting duty in his "home city" of Dallas, where he retired from the service in July 1958. He then moved his family from Dallas back to his hometown of Commerce, Texas, where, at the age of 46,
he entered as a freshman at East Texas State College, a lifelong goal. He graduated four years later with a bachelor's degree in Agricultural Sciences, which he used to begin his second career as a farm labor and
employment specialist for the State of Texas Employment Commission.
"Through the Navy I've been to parts of every continent," he once told a news reporter. "I've crossed the Equator in both
directions in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans ... literally traveling and making many fine friends while being paid, schooled, fed, clothed and housed by the Navy, and at the same time advancing toward
retirement and college under the G.I. Bill. My only objection to the Navy is that there are not enough Texans in it!"
John Anglin died along with his beloved wife of 30 years, Jean Anglin,in an
automobile accident in October 1974. They were survived by their five children, three of whom also served in the Navy.
Below is a picture submitted by Michael Anglin (son), 12/2011.
Here is another photo of my father during the ship's repair stop in Simontown/Cape Town, South Africa. (11/24/1942)