Commander J. L. Chew, U. S. N., Executive Officer
Executive Officer was First Lieut.
on the Second Helena
COMMANDER JOHN L. CHEW, the Executive Officer of the U. S. S. HELENA was born at Annapolis, Maryland on September 22, 1909. He is the only son of John L. and Rosalyn Sylvester Chew. Our Executive Officer's mother is a native of Georgia, and his father a native of Maryland, was head of the Mathematic Department of St. John's College, Annapolis. He was married to Miss Helen Katherine Loughan of Los Angeles, California in 1938. They have two children Margaret Adams, born in Honolulu, September 28, 1941, and a son John L., Jr., born May 13, 1944.
He was educated in public and private elementary schools at Annapolis, Maryland, and Annapolis High School. He later entered the Junior College of Augusta, Georgia. He graduated at the U.S. Naval Academy June 4, 1931. He was nominated for the Naval Academy by Representative Carl Vincent of Georgia, now Chairman of Naval Affairs Committee.
He began his naval career in 1931 with duty aboard the U. S. S. MARYLAND, then in the Pacific Fleet, and remained at that duty until June, 1934. In that same month he was promoted to Lieutenant (junior grade), and was assigned to the U. S. S. OVERTON, where he served as Gunnery Officer. In March, 1935, he was assigned to the U. S. S. MONAHAN, where he served as First Lieutenant and Torpedo Officer. In July, 1937, he was assigned to the U. S. S. NECHES, where he served as Gunnery Officer, and also as Watch and Division Officer. In July, 1938, he was promoted to Lieutenant, and in that same month he became a student in the Post Graduate School of the U. S. Naval Academy.
From August, 1939, to July 1943, he had duty on the U. S. S. HELENA, where he served, first as Assistant Gunnery Officer until May, 1943, and as First Lieutenant until the HELENA was sunk in the battle of Kula Gulf on July 6, 1943. He was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in May, 1942. In September, 1943, he returned to the U. S. Naval Academy as Instructor in Ordnance and Gunnery. He served in this capacity until his present assignment. He was promoted to Commander in November, 1943.
Commander Chew has been awarded the following medals: Commendations (two); Navy Unit Citations medals: Commendation Ribbon with Star; Navy Unit Citation (Helena); American Defense with Star; Asiatic Pacific with (6) Stars; American Theatre.