Born in Philadelphia, Jan. 6, 1898, Capt. John J. Curley Jr. entered the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1917 and graduated in 1920.
Commissioned an ensign, he first served on board the battleship USS North Dakota from June, 1920 to June, 1921. His next tour of duty was aboard the destroyer USS Pillsbury as gunnery officer, a post he held from June 1921 until June 1922.
After three months of service on board USS little and USS Branch as engineering officer, he served in European waters on USS Hatfield, leaving that vessel in December, 1923.
Six years of submarine duty followed that transfer. Capt. Curley reported for duty as engineering officer of the submarine O-8 in March, 1924 and in June, 1926, was transferred to the submarine O-6 as commanding officer.
In September, 1927, Capt. Curley became the assistant engineering officer of the Philadelphia Navy Yard, after which, in June, 1929, he was assigned asd the commanding officer of USS S-40, serving with the Asiatic Fleet. From March, 1930, until June, 1930, he was submarine staff aide on board the submarine tender USS Canopus.
His next tour of duty was at the Naval Academy in Anapolis, where he was an instructor in physics and chemistry from Sept. 1931, until June, 1934.
Service as aide to commander, Submarine Foce, USS Bushnell flagship followed, ending in June, 1937. He was then named aide to the commandant at the Portsmouth, N.H. Navy Yard.
Capt. Curley left Portsmouth in June, 1939, to assume duty as navigator of the cruiser USS San Francisco, serving in that capacity until July, 1942, when he became commanding officer of USS Neches, fleet tanker. This ship replaced a ship of the same name sunk by the Japanese.
He reported for duty as executive officer of NTC on May 20, 1943.
Following the death of Capt. Gearing in February, 1944, Capt. Curley assumed the duties as commanding officer of NTC until April, when Commodore R. S. Haggart reported.
In April, the center undwent a reorganization when the Secretary of the Navy issued an order designating the command a Naval Training Center. The order created three subordinate commands: Administration Command, Service School Command and Recruit Training Command. Each command had their own commanding officer. All three subordinate commands would fall under the commander, Naval Training Center. Capt. Curley was named the commanding officer of the Administrative Command.
A commander at that time, he was promoted to captain in June, 1944. In 1947, he was the commanding officer of Naval Disciplinary Barracks in San Pedro, Calif., and in 1950 he became commander, Long Beach Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet. Capt. Curley involuntary retired on June 30, 1951.
During his career, Capt. Curley received campaign ribbons from World War I, the Yangtse Medal, the American Defense with star, and the American Theatre an Asiatic Pacific with two stars.
Capt. Curley died at the Naval Hospital, San Diego, April 7, 1963.
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