The SCROLL of Phi Delta Theta for January,
broken shortly by sounds of an admiral
chuckling. For John Sidney McCain is
one of the Navy's best plain-and-fancy
cussers. But he uses cusswords, not obscenities. And the Navy knows that the
cusswords are just an irrepressible fighting spirit breaking out.
THE CITATION accompanying Admiral McCain's Distinguished Service Medal follows:
"For exceptionally meritorious service
in a duty of great responsibility as Commander Aircraft, South Pacific and South
Pacific Force. During the period from May
19 to September 21, 1942, and before and
during the campaign of the Solomon Islands from August i to September 21,
1942, by his courageous initiative and efficient co-ordination of the forces under his
command. Rear Admiral McCain was responsible for the expansion and development of shore and tender bases, the maintenance of scouting and striking flights,
and the establishment of effective cooperation between those air units of the
United States, Australia and New Zealand
assigned to duty on the island bases. His
tireless energy and extraordinary skill contributed greatly to occupation of the
Guadalcanal-Tulagi Area by our forces
and to the destruction and serious damaging of numerous aircraft and vessels of
the enemy Japanese Navy. His judicious
foresight and inspiring devotion to duty
were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval service."
Admiral McCain has also won the Victory Medal and the American Defense
Service Medal, Fleet Clasp.
Admiral McCain was born in Teoc,
Mississippi, August 9, 1884. He attended
high school in CarroUton, and then the
University of Mississippi, where he was
initiated into A on January 2, 1902.
Shortly after he was appointed to the
Naval Academy. After graduation in
February of 1906 he was assigned to the
Asiatic Station and served on the U.S.S.
Ohio and the U.S.S. Baltimore. He joined
the Connecticut, flagship of Admiral C. S.
Sperry, Commander of the Battle Fleet
at Manila, in December, 1908, and in her
he returned to the United States by way
of the Suez Canal. There followed a long
series of assignments and wide travel, all
of which seemed pointed by destiny to
his present lofty and important position.
He has commanded many important
ships of the Fleet and he has served many
"turns" on important shore duty. It was
not until comparatively recently that he
became active in the Naval Air Force.
Rear Admiral McCain had flight training at the Naval Air Station at Pensacola
in 1935-36. The course required that he
fly every type of he was fiftyone. But he stuck, won out, loved it, and
He became Commander of the Panama Fleet Air Base, then of the aircraft
carrier Ranger, then of the Naval Air
Station at San Diego. In June, 1941,
he was placed in command of the Aircraft Scouting Force. He commanded
our Naval Aircraft in the South Pacific
from May until September of 1942, when
he went to this "swivel-chair" job in
There at 8:30 A.M. every morning
he gingerly sits in his office which is
decorated with models and photographs of aircraft and aircraft carriers, and photographs of his predecessors. Vice Admiral Towers, now in the
Pacific, and Admiral King, his chief.
He signs his papers at a stand-up desk
and often lunches in the Navy cafeteria,
lining up with clerks, marines, and ensigns. Sometimes his aides send out
searching parties that bring him back for
a conference with some high official, his
eyes snapping with a new bit of knowledge gained, or a new idea how to lick
the Japs or the Nazis.
That's Admiral John Sidney McCain,
America's Number One Air-Sailor and
true and loyal Phi, whose motto seems
to be: "There's no use hitting if you
don't hit hard." May he continue to
hit the enemies of America hard and
often, and speed our victory.