Retired Navy Capt. John F. Crowe Jr., 83, a combat veteran of both world wars who also served during the Korean conflict, died Friday at George Washington University Hospital after a heart attack.
His last assignment, from 1947 until retirement in 1953, was in the office of the assistant secretary of the Navy in Washington. He then was a consultant here for Beckman Instruments of Fullerton, Calif.
Capt. Crowe was in command of a mine division of the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked on Dec. 7, 1941.
In 1942, his ships laid mines off the French Frigate Shoals near Hawaii to prevent Japanese submarines from providing fuel for bombers there for a planned attack on Honolulu. They also mined the entrances to Kodialk, Alaska, ad Adak in the Aleutian Islands and did escort duty.
Later in the war, Capt. Crowe was on duty in the Navy Department's Bureau of Ordinance in Washington. He was commander of the battleship, the USS Mississippi, in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrendered.
He was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. During World War I, as a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, he was sent out to duty on three battleships of the Atlantic Fleet. He graduated from the Academy in 1919.
Capt. Crowe saw further battleship duty, then was assigned to cruisers.He was aboard the USS Memphis when she returned Charles E. Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis to the Washington Navy Yard after his spectacular flight to Paris in 1927.
After further duty at sea aboard battleships, a destroyer and a cruisers, he was assigned in 1938 to the office of the chief of naval operations in Washington, where he remained until going out to Pearl Harbor.
He is survived by his wife, Consuelo G., of the home in Washington; a son, retired Army Col. J. Godfrey Crowe, of Arlington , and five grandchildren.