Johnny Hoover was a former submarine
officer who had served as chair of the Submarine Officers
Conference in 1926 before switching to naval aviation. He served as Halsey's chief of staff on Enterprise in the
late 1930s, where he lorded over the ship's captain, Pownall, and even
began issuing course corrections over the voice tube to the bridge.
When the more assertive Murray
took command of the ship, he quickly made it clear to Hoover whose
ship it was.
Hoover was the vice admiral commanding the naval facilities at Puerto Rico when war broke out, where he soon found himself fighting U-boats in the Caribbean and watching the Vichy force at Martinique with a force of just two destroyers, two ancient submarine chasers, three ancient submarines, and a wing of Catalinas. He was experienced with airfield construction and operations, was given command of the land-based naval air force that supported the Central Pacific campaign, and was tasked to develop the new air bases on the captured islands.
Hoover presided over the Court of Inquiry that
recommended Halsey face
court-martial for sailing 3 Fleet into a
typhoon in 1945. The
recommendation was ignored by King
likely felt Halsey was too much of a popular hero to be subjected
Hoover was known as "Genial John" behind his back
because of his sour attitude. Towers, the senior aviator in the Navy,
him (Tuohy 2007):
An enigma. Phsyically fit. A positive character. Not popular. Standoffish. Lack of close relationship between him and his staff....
A highly competent officer, with a reputation as an aggressive leader, Hoover received top
ratings from the secret ad hoc selection board convened
by Navy Secretary Knox in March 1942. However, neither Nimitz nor his
air deputy, John Towers, warmed to Hoover, though Spruance came to
highly of him.
||Born in Ohio
||Graduates from Naval Academy,
standing 73rd in a class of 86
||Chair, Submarine Officers Conference
||Chief of staff, Aircraft,
||Commander, Carribean Sea
||Commander, Land-based Air, Central
||Dies at Bethesda Naval
Frank (2011; accessed 2012-6-16)
Center (accessed 2008-3-20)
The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia © 2006, 2008-2009, 2013, 2016 by Kent G. Budge. Index