From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

John Grafton '61

Date of birth: August 13, 1937

Date of death: April 10, 1963

Age: 25

Lucky Bag

From the 1961 Lucky Bag:


1961 Grafton 1.jpg

From USS Thresher Memorial:

John Gilbert Grafton was born on August 13, 1937, in Fayetteville, West Virginia, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph E. Grafton of Dewitt, N.Y.

Prior to entering the Naval Academy in 1957, John was graduated from Fayetteville High School, where he was a member of the National Honor Society.

In June 1961, he was graduated from the Naval Academy and commissioned ensign. He was then ordered to the Nuclear Power School at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Valleho, California, for instruction. Upon completing this course in December 1961, John was selected for further training and received orders to the Nuclear Power Training Unit, Idaho Falls, Idaho. While a student at the school, John received nuclear power operational training, until August 1962. He was then transferred to the Submarine School, New London, Connecticut. Upon completion of his basic submarine training there, John was ordered in March 1963, to the submarine USS Thresher (SSN 593)

Lieutenant Junior Grade Grafton leaves, in addition to his parents, his grandfather, Mr. Gilbert Smith, to whom he was very close, and for whom he was named.

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Albert Bailey, Jr. '61 was also a member of 2nd Company.

Philip Allen '45, John Billings '50, John Harvey '50, Robert Krag '50, Michael DiNola '53, Robert Biederman '54, Merrill Collier '56, John Wiley '61, Guy Parsons, Jr. '59, James Henry, Jr. '60, and Ronald Babcock '60 were also lost when USS Thresher (SSN 593) sank with all hands on April 10, 1963.

Class of 1961

John is one of 23 members of the Class of 1961 on Virtual Memorial Hall.