John R. Welsh, 95

SEPT. 13, 1917-AUG. 28, 2013

August 30, 2013
  • Welsh

Retired U.S. Navy Capt. John Robert Welsh, 95, passed away Wednesday Aug. 28, 2013.

Born Sept. 13, 1917, he grew up in Sarver and Freeport, Pa.

He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1942, shortly after Pearl Harbor was attacked in December 1941. After commissioning, he served on destroyers during World War II. He participated in the Philippines and Aleutians campaigns, including early attacks on the Japanese islands.

In May 1945, he was serving as executive officer aboard the USS Luce (DD-522) and survived her sinking during picket duty northeast of Okinawa.

After the war, he completed a master's degree in metallurgy at Carnegie Tech, and worked in naval ordnance.

He commanded the USS Jeffers (DD-621) and USS Gainard (DD-706).

He graduated from the U.S. Naval War College in 1959, then served as executive officer of the USS Rochester (CA-124).

After serving as commander in chief, Pacific Command representative to the Pacific Missile Range at Point Mugu, Calif., in 1964, he was ordered as commanding officer of the USS Cimarron (AO-22) during the Vietnam War. His final tour was as director of plans and programs for Naval Ordnance Systems Command until retiring in December 1966.

John then worked for Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Howard County, Md., until 1982, with a three-year stint supervising the European Field Office Heidelberg FRG.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Elizabeth McIntyre Welsh, and will be interred with her in Arlington (Va.) National Cemetery.

He is survived by six children, Dr. John Robert Welsh Jr. (U.S. Air Force, retired) of San Antonio, Texas, Dr. Patrick Timothy Welsh (U.S. Navy, retired) of Jacksonville, Fla., Deborah (Welsh) Johnson of Hagerstown, Md., Dana (Welsh) Boykin of Virginia Beach, Va., Mark Nathan Welsh of Abingdon, Va., and Christopher Brian Welsh (U.S. Navy, retired) of Montpelier, Va.; 10 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services at Arlington National Cemetery will be announced at future date.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Douglas A. Fiery Funeral Home, 1331 Eastern Blvd. North, Hagerstown.

Online condolences may be expressed at

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