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"The Boson's Locker"

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It is with deepest regret that we announce that Captain John W. Wells, the first Commanding Officer of the USS SAN DIEGO AFS-6 has passed away. The following information was provided by the Wells Family for posting.

Captain John W. Wells, USN (Retired) died on 8 September, 2011. Born on 9 July, 1922 on a farm in Clark County, Arkansas, he attended the University of Arkansas for one year and then entered the Naval Academy and was part of the Class of ’47. He had command of various ships during his career including the PLOVER (AMS 33),

ALACRITY (AMS 520), O’BANNON (DD 450), and the SAN DIEGO (AFS 6) for which he oversaw the construction and the commissioning. During his career, he served on CINCLANT and CINCPAC staffs and attended the U.S. Fleet Anti-submarine Warfare School, the Naval War College, and the Gunnery Officer’s School.

He was awarded the BRONZE STAR with a COMBAT “V”, MERITORIOUS SERVICE MEDAL, VIETNAMESE NAVY DISTINGUISHED SERVICE ORDER SECOND CLASS AWARD, REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM ARMED FORCES MERITORIOUS UNIT CITATION (GALLANTRY CROSS), MERITORIOUS UNIT COMMENDATION, WORLD WAR II VICTORY MEDAL, NAVY OCCUPATION MEDAL, COMBAT ACTION RIBBON, NATIONAL DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL (SECOND AWARD), NAVY EXPEDITIONARY MEDAL, VIET NAM SERVICE MEDAL (4 STARS), REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM CAMPAIGN MEDAL, and the VIETNAMESE PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION RIBBON.

Captain Wells earned a Master’s Degree from William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia. He taught JNROTC and then Physics and Advanced Mathematics at Tabb High School in York County, Virginia.

He is survived by his wife, Miriam C. Rommal Wells, son and daughter-in-law Christopher and Margaret Wells, and daughter Patricia Larkin, three

grandchildren, Meredith Wells, Jennifer Ross, and Jeremy Larkin, and four great-grandchildren.

 
 
 
July 13, 2010
ARLINGTON, Va. -- Marines and Sailors gathered at the Memorial Chapel aboard Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall to witness the first female chaplain of the Marine Corps assume her post July 9.
Rear Adm. Margaret Kibben took the oath of office from Gen. James Amos, the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, and assumed the duties as the senior Navy chaplain serving with Marines.
Amos, who previously served as a naval aviator, told Kibben to enjoy the opportunity to work with Marines.
“You get the best of both worlds,” he said. “You get to be a part of each service’s proud history, and you have a legion of friends who wear each uniform.”
Kibben, who has more than 24 years of service behind her, was also promoted to rear admiral lower half during the ceremony.
“Admiral, wow,” she said. “I don’t think I will ever get used to it, but I hope I can grow into it.”
While Kibben struggled to grasp the reality of her accomplishment, some of her colleagues couldn’t think of anyone better to hold the rank and title.
“This shouldn’t be about the board picking a woman as chaplain of the Marine Corps,” said Cmdr. Michael Gore, the deputy director of Operations, Plans and Policy for the chief of Navy chaplains. “She was chosen because she was the best candidate, and just so happens to be a woman.”
While some sailors have to adjust to working with Marines, Navy Capt. Greg Caiazzo, a fellow chaplain serving as the public affairs officer for the chief of Navy chaplains, said he knows Kibben will be able to handle the job.
“She understands the ethos (of the Marine Corps),” he said. “She is going to be out there with the Marines, she wants to be out there with the Marines, and she is concerned (about) Marines.”
Gore, who spoke during the ceremony, explained how even at a young age, Kibben knew she was going to serve both God and country, and that she shouldn’t forget that part of her life.
“God has provided everything for me,” Kibben said. “It is up to me to respond.”
Amos also reminded Kibben of the role she would play in the two-front war America’s Marines and sailors are currently fighting.
“There are a lot of Marines and sailors who answered their nation’s call to fight,” he said. “Those young Marines and (sailors) are the ones you’ve been chosen to (serve).”

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