Capt. John Patrick Leahy was born in Elizabeth, N. J. on Sept. 26, 1928. He attended the St. Bonaventure University and entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1947, graduating with the class of 1951.
His first assignment was on USS Cunningham (DD-752) as first lieutenant and then as navigator. He attended submarine school in January, 1953 and received a special designator as a submariner, he was promoted to lieutenant junior grade at this time.
He reported to USS Volador (SS-490) as gunnery officer and then reported the staff of commander, Sumarine Division 52 as staff engineer in July, 1956. While on board Volador, he became a lieutenant.
In June, 1957, Capt. Leahy returned to the Naval Academy and served as an instructor until April, 1959 when he reported to USS Blueback (SS-581). He obtained the rank of lieutenant commander during his tour with Blueback. Capt. Leahy was the executive officer of USS Bonefish (SS-582) from July, 1961 to August, 1963. He then reported to the staff of commander, Submarine Pacific as assistant operations officer.
In January, 1964, he returned to USS Bonefish and served as its commanding officer until July, 1966. While on Bonefish, he was promoted to commander. Next, he reported to work in the strategic plans division in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OP-602) from August, 1966 to August, 1968. He served as executive officer of USS Fox (DLG-33) from October, 1968 to September, 1970. In October, 1970, he reported as pre-commissioning officer of Harold E. Holt (DE-1074) and became the ships first commanding officer after its commissioning in March, 1971.
He served as chief of staff and aide for commander, Destroyer Group One in 1972 and was promoted to captain on July 1 of that year.
From February, 1974 to September, 1975, he was on the staff of commander, Destroyer Squadron Five. He then reported to commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific fleet from September, 1975 to December, 1977. Prior to reporting to Naval Training Center, Capt. Leahy served on the staff of commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Following his tour at NTC, Capt. Leahy retired from the Navy on Dec. 31, 1979. During his service, he received the Bronze Star with Combat ‘V’; a Navy Commendation Medal; a Navy Unit Commendation; a Navy Expeditionary Medal; China Service Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal; Korean Service Medal; Korean Presidential Unit Citation; United Nations Service Medal; and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
He was married to Jean E. Costello in 1951 and they have three children, Kathleen, Jeanne and Timothy. Capt. Leahy currently resides in El Cajon, Calif. and works for the San Diego Community College District.
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