JOHN A. FLETCHER, II, LT, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall
John Fletcher, II '48

Date of birth: October 6, 1926

Date of death: September 29, 1953

Age: 26

Lucky Bag

From the 1948 Lucky Bag:

1948 Fletcher LB.jpg

JOHN ASSERSON FLETCHER, II

Warren, Rhode Island

Navy Junior . . . unconventional type . . . with a dogmatic nature . . . the kind that never lost an argument ... no matter which side he was on. Started his varsity wrestling career early . . . plebe year . . . worked up to captain . . . twice intercollegiate champ . . . and won himself an outstanding wrestlers award to round things out. A good-natured . . . jovial . . . easy-to-like sort of an individual . . . believes in the democratic way of life . . . which led to many a disagreement with the system . . . you can't say he lost any arguments here ... he never argued with them ... it was futile. The bouncing gate of Muscles . . . and his belief that they don't dare fry me made John a constant member of the varsity extra-duty squad. Wrestling . . . ED . . . track ... an all-around athlete. A fast 880 man . . . could have been better . . . but his heart was in the loft . . . the lure of the loft kept him away from the cinder path ... a break for Navy's wrestling record. He loves the sea . . . mostly from the cockpit of a star ... or a knockabout ... a nautical wizard since his youth . . . John one day hoped to lead his lubberly wives to the Thompson Trophy . . . never quite made it. Likes to use his study time to read . . . anything that is recent . . . Time . . . Reader's Digest . . . novels . . . anything that's good.


John was the wrestling team captain for both 1947 (1948A) and 1948. He graduated from the 16th Company with the class of 1948-B in June 1948. (The top half of the class academically, designated 1948-A, graduated in June 1947 as the last wartime-accelerated class.)

1948 Fletcher LB.jpg

JOHN ASSERSON FLETCHER, II

Warren, Rhode Island

Navy Junior . . . unconventional type . . . with a dogmatic nature . . . the kind that never lost an argument ... no matter which side he was on. Started his varsity wrestling career early . . . plebe year . . . worked up to captain . . . twice intercollegiate champ . . . and won himself an outstanding wrestlers award to round things out. A good-natured . . . jovial . . . easy-to-like sort of an individual . . . believes in the democratic way of life . . . which led to many a disagreement with the system . . . you can't say he lost any arguments here ... he never argued with them ... it was futile. The bouncing gate of Muscles . . . and his belief that they don't dare fry me made John a constant member of the varsity extra-duty squad. Wrestling . . . ED . . . track ... an all-around athlete. A fast 880 man . . . could have been better . . . but his heart was in the loft . . . the lure of the loft kept him away from the cinder path ... a break for Navy's wrestling record. He loves the sea . . . mostly from the cockpit of a star ... or a knockabout ... a nautical wizard since his youth . . . John one day hoped to lead his lubberly wives to the Thompson Trophy . . . never quite made it. Likes to use his study time to read . . . anything that is recent . . . Time . . . Reader's Digest . . . novels . . . anything that's good.


John was the wrestling team captain for both 1947 (1948A) and 1948. He graduated from the 16th Company with the class of 1948-B in June 1948. (The top half of the class academically, designated 1948-A, graduated in June 1947 as the last wartime-accelerated class.)

1948-B 16th Company

Loss and Memorial Award

1948 Fletcher 1.jpg

From Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Hall of Fame:

LT (jg) JOHN A. FLETCHER II, Navy ‘48 was the Midshipmen’s Frank Merriwell; at Moses Brown School, Rhode Island, John was a 2-time state wrestling champion while captain, earning eleven varsity letters in soccer, track, wrestling and football, which he also captained. At the U.S. Naval Academy (1945-48), he placed second twice in the EIWA before claiming two titles and two Outstanding Wrestler Awards. Fletcher was allowed two entries to NCAAs and placed third, then second. In his last college appearance, John pinned four men before losing to never beaten Bill Koll, Northern Iowa, NCAA 1,1,1, Olympic 5.

John was an alternate on the 1948 and 1952 U.S. Olympic wrestling teams. He was inducted posthumously into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, the United States Naval Academy Athletic Hall of Fame, and inaugural class of the Moses Brown Athletic Hall of Fame. Lt. Fletcher died in a plane crash while serving in the U.S. Navy in 1953. Beginning in 1955, the EIWA annually presents the John Fletcher Memorial Award, given to the senior wrestler who scores the most team points in the EIWA tournament during his career.

John was piloting a TBM Avenger on a "routine training flight" when the aircraft crashed in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 110 miles east of Cape Henry.

Shipmate

From the November 1953 issue of Shipmate:

Classmates and friends of Lt. (jg) JOHN ASSERSON FLETCHER, 2d, USN, were saddened to learn of his death on 30 September, when the torpedo bomber that he was piloting crashed into the sea off Cape Henry east of Norfolk, Va. The crash occurred on a night training flight out of the Naval Air Station with a crew of four.

Johnny, as he was known to his friends, had an outstanding athletic record during his midshipman days at the Naval Academy. He was captain of the Navy's wrestling team in 1947-48—Eastern Intercollegiate champion both years—and in 1947 was voted the outstanding wrestler in the East. He was a member of the United States Olympic Wrestling Team in both 1948 and 1952.

He is survived by his widow, Betty Lou, and an infant daughter, Melissa Dawn, born on 8 August; his mother, Mrs. Paul Williams Fletcher of Warren, R.I.; a brother, Abbott Fletcher of Maine; two sisters, Mrs. Ray Brock of Charlottesville, Va., and Miss Priscilla Fletcher, now in Europe.

Family

John II's father, Paul, was a Naval Academy graduate with the class of 1914. He died "while in active service" as a Commander in 1940; unable to find the nature of this loss. Paul's brothers—John II's uncles—were William B. Fletcher, Jr., '21 and John A. Fletcher '11, who was lost in 1923.

John II's grandfather, William B. Fletcher, Sr., was a 1882 graduate and commanded U.S. Naval forces in Brest, France, during World War I.



Class of 1948

John is one of 48 members of the Class of 1948 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

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