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The Awards of Admiral John McCain who Orchestrated Guadalcanal

Admiral John McCain Sr., Grandfather of John McCain III, Republican Candidate for President during the 2008 elections, was one of the most important admirals in American naval aviation in the Pacific during World War II. John McCain was born on August 9, 1884 on his family’s plantation in Mississippi. He came from a military family where it was custom for the first born to take over the plantation and for the second born to enlist. McCain was the third born and had no obligation to join but felt compelled to follow in his brother’s footsteps. In 1906 he graduated from the Naval Academy at Annapolis as an Ensign, ranking 79th out of 116 students. He was not the most competent student but throughout his career proved that he was indeed a natural leader. He began his service in the Pacific Fleet and on escort vessels in the Atlantic during the First World War. In 1929 he graduated from the Naval War College, and a little later from Flight Instruction School at Pensacola. He was awarded his Naval Aviator Wings at the age of 52, making him the oldest man to achieve the status.

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, McCain, who meanwhile had been promoted to Rear Admiral, became commander in chief of land-based naval aviation in the South Pacific. In 1943 he became Deputy Chief of Naval Operations in Washington, Responsible for air operations of the United States Navy. He returned to the Pacific in 1944 and took command of the 2nd Fast Carrier Task Force and a little later Task Force 38 of the US 3rd Fleet with nine fleet aircraft carriers and eight light aircraft carriers. Because of his successful tactics in July/August 1944, he was able to destroy 3000 Japanese aircraft on the ground, and with a few days sink 49 ships. He was awarded the Navy Cross for the rescue of the heavily damaged cruisers "USS Canberra" and "USS Houston" from sinking by the Japanese in October 1944. On 2 September 1945 he was on board the "USS Missouri" at the Japanese surrender. Importantly, McCain was a pioneer of aircraft carrier operations who in 1942 commanded all land-based air operations in support of the Guadalcanal campaign, and who ultimately in 1944-1945 aggressively led the Fast Carrier Task Force, in the Pacific Ocean theater.

His operations off the Philippines and Okinawa, and air strikes against Formosa and the Japanese home islands, caused tremendous destruction of Japanese naval and air forces in the closing period of the war. In 1949 he was posthumously promoted to full admiral by act of Congress. He was the father of Admiral John S. McCain, Jr.; they became the first father-son pair ever to achieve four star admiral rank in the U.S. Navy. His son accompanied him to the formal Japanese surrender ceremony on 6 September 1945. Sadly this was the last time they were to ever see each as McCain died four days later. McCain Jr. went on to fight in the Vietnam War, being promoted to full admiral, in command of the Pacific Fleet. The family military line continued with McCain Jr.’s son, John S. McCain III, studied at the Naval Academy and fought in the Vietnam War. The Awards of Admiral John McCain offered by eMedals Inc. Are as follows:International Decorations and Medals: Cruz Peruana de Aviacin, 1st Class, non-ferrous metal, in the original case ("Zettel y Kohler Lima"), with the citation bearing the signature of the President, General Benavides, 1936. Peruvian Order of the Sun, Commander's Cross, silver-plated, gilded, and enamelled, "Lemaitre a Paris", with the ribbon in the original case, and includes the citation with Benavide's signature, 1936. Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Knight Commander of the Military Division. Gilded silver cross on the neck ribbon. Silver breast star with a gold and enamelled medallion. Velvet lining for the case (case missing) and the posthumous citation for 28 November 1945 bearing the signatures of the Grand Mistress of the Order, Queen Mary ("Mary R.") and King George VI ("George R.I."). Also the invitation of the British Consul General in Los Angeles to the award ceremony on 23 July 1948 and the citation itself. Argentine silver marksman's medal with the name, "J.S. McCain" engraved on the reverse. United States Decorations: Navy Distinguished Service Medal, ribbon with a gold star in the case along with the citation for the medal signed by the Secretary of the Navy, Frank Knox, and a citation for a third gold star, signed by the Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal.

Navy Cross on the ribbon in the case, along with the citation signed by the Commander of the Third Fleet, Admiral Halsey. Three Mexican Service Medals for the Navy 1911-17, two on ribbons numbered '15424' and 'M.No. 16616', one without a ring numbered '10'. Two World War I Victory Medals, on ribbons, one with the "Escort" clasp. American Campaign Medal on the ribbon. Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal on the ribbon. American Defense Service Medal on the ribbon, World War II Victory Medal on the ribbon. Two Naval Aviator Wings, one of non-ferrous metal, the other embroidered. A pair of Rear Admiral's shoulder boards (one button missing) as well as 14 Navy buttons. Certificates and Personnel Documents: Diploma from the US Naval Academy 1906. Large and small commission as Captain dated 30 June 1931, signed by the Secretary of the Navy. As Rear Admiral for 23 January 1941 with Franklin D. Roosevelt's signature in ink. As Admiral on 3 September 1949 with Harry Truman's signature. Naval Aviator's identity card with a photograph 1936. Commemorative Certificate on his death on 6 September 1945, with Truman's facsimile signature. Certificate of appointment as a Member of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics 1952 with Franklin D. Roosevelt's signature. Certificate as Honorary Member of the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences, 1932. 1942 US-Passport (territory of Hawaii) with a photograph in uniform, a signature, and fingerprint. Admiral McCain's awards are available for purchase under the product code: W3219 - See more at:

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