John G. Crommelin


John G. Crommelin

Infobox Military Person
name= John Geraerdt Crommelin, Jr.
lived="ca." 1902 – death date|1996|11|2
placeofbirth= Montgomery, Alabama
placeofdeath= Montgomery, Alabama


caption=
nickname= "Bomb-run John"
allegiance= United States of America
branch= United States Navy
serviceyears=
rank= Rear Admiral
commands=
unit=Naval aviation, USS Enterprise, Navy headquarters
battles=World War II
awards=
laterwork= Gubernatorial, Senate, Vice Presidential and Presidential candidate

Rear Admiral John Geraerdt Crommelin, Jr. ("ca." 1902 – November 2, 1996) was a prominent United States Navy officer and later a frequent political candidate.

Early life and naval career

Born in Montgomery, Alabama as eldest of five brothers, he graduated an United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland in 1923. Previously he grew up in Montgomery and in Elmore County, Alabama.

He saw combat at the Pacific during World War II. All of his brothers also graduated from the US Naval Academy and two of them were killed in action during WWII.

Crommelin earned a reputation of courageous and skillful naval aviator and nickname "bomb-run John". He served as an executive officer as well as air officer aboard the Enterprise and was chief of staff aboard the carrier Liscombe Bay when it was sunk in the Makin Island campaign off the Gilbert Islands.

In 1949 he served at Navy headquarters in The Pentagon in rank of captain. He became there a vocal critic of navy politics, despite being in active service. Captain Crommelin publicly complained that the Defense Department was scuttling naval air power and showing improper favor to the Air Force, and that "a Prussian General Staff system of the type employed by Hitler" was being imposed on the armed forces under unification.

Crommelin was publicly reprimanded by Admiral Forrest P. Sherman, then Chief of Naval Operations, for making public confidential Navy letters linking top admirals to active opposition against unification.

In result, he was transferred to San Francisco, California. After he continued his criticism in the face of orders to keep silent, he was ordered by Admiral Sherman to be furloughed at half pay, beginning early in 1950.

His activity and views became publicly well-known. In example in 1950 The New York Times's military affairs expert Hanson W. Baldwin wrote that Captain Crommelin was a "stormy petrel who wouldn't shut up."

Crommelin retired from active duty with the rank of Rear Admiral in May 1950, after 30 years. He went to operate a part of his family plantation, named Harrogate Springs, in Elmore County, raising a variety of crops.

Political activity

Although he was widely praised and credited for his courage in speaking out for his views and for his previous distinguished combat career, Crommelin's reputation suffered from his later political involvement.

A strong supporter of Senator Joe McCarthy, he ran for various public offices while in retirement.

At this time he was known for segregationist, white-supremacist and antisemitic public views. A self-styled "white man's candidate", he claimed that Jews are the real enemy of "white Christian Alabamians," asserting that they controlled the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Alongside his Senatorial and Gubernatorial bids in Alabama, he was nominated for Vice President by the minor far-right National States' Rights Party (not to be confused with the more moderate Dixiecrats), as the running mate of Governor of Arkansas Orval E. Faubus.

During the United States presidential election of 1968 he ran in Democratic the New Hampshire primary, winning only 186 votes (0.34%) and finishing fifth.

None of his electoral bids were successful.

He married Lillian E. Landis in 1930 (she died in 1991). They had two daughters and one son.

Electoral history

Alabama United States Senate election, 1950
*J. Lister Hill (D) (inc.) - 125,534 (76.54%)
*John G. Crommelin (Independent) - 38,477 (23.46%)

Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate from Alabama, 1956
*J. Lister Hill (inc.) - 247,519 (68.20%)
*John G. Crommelin - 115,440 (31.81%)

Alabama gubernatorial election, 1958 (Democratic primary)
*John Malcolm Patterson - 196,859 (31.82%)
*George Wallace - 162,435 (26.26%)
*Jimmy Faulkner - 91,512 (14.79%)
*A.W. Todd - 59,240 (9.58%)
*Laurie Battle - 38,955 (6.30%)
*George Hawkins - 24,332 (3.93%)
*C.C. Owen - 15,270 (2.47%)
* Karl Harrison - 12,488 (2.02%)
*Billy Walker - 7,963 (1.29%)
*W.E. Dodd - 4,753 (0.77%)
*John G. Crommelin - 2,245 (0.36%)
*Shearen Elebash - 1,177 (0.19%)
*James Gulatte - 798 (0.13%)
*Shorty Price - 655 (0.11%)

Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate from Alabama, 1960
*John Sparkman (inc.) - 335,722 (86.68%)
*John G. Crommelin - 51,571 (13.32%)

United States presidential election, 1960
*John F. Kennedy/Lyndon B. Johnson (D) - 34,220,984 (49.9%) and 303 electoral votes (22 states carried)
*Richard Nixon/Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. (R) - 34,108,157 (49.5%) and 219 electoral votes (26 states carried)
*Harry F. Byrd/Strom Thurmond/Barry Goldwater (Independents) - 15 electoral votes (Mississippi and Alabama unpledged and faithless electors from Oklahoma)
* Unpledged electors (D) - 286,359 (0.4%) and 0 electoral votes
*Eric Hass/Georgia Cozzini (Socialist Labor) - 47,522 (0.07%)
*Rutherford L. Decker/Earle Harold Munn (Prohibition Party) - 46,203 (0.07%)
*Orval E. Faubus/John G. Crommelin (National States' Rights Party) - 44,984 (0.07%)

Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate from Alabama, 1962
*J. Lister Hill (inc.) - 363,613 (73.71%)
*Donald G. Hallmark - 72,855 (14.77%)
*John G. Crommelin - 56,822 (11.52%)

Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate from Alabama, 1966
*John Sparkman (inc.) - 378,295 (56.98%)
*Frank E. Dixon - 133,139 (20.05%)
*John G. Crommelin - 114,622 (17.26%)
*Margaret E. Stewart - 37,889 (5.71%)

United States presidential election, 1968 (Democratic primaries)
*Eugene McCarthy - 2,914,933 (38.73%)
*Robert Kennedy - 2,305,148 (30.63%)
*Stephen M. Young - 549,140 (7.30%)
*Lyndon B. Johnson - 383,590 (5.10%)
*Thomas C. Lynch - 380,286 (5.05%)
*Roger D. Branigin - 238,700 (3.17%)
*George Smathers - 236,242 (3.14%)
*Hubert Humphrey - 166,463 (2.21%)
* Unpledged - 161,143 (2.14%)
* Scott Kelly - 128,899 (1.71%)
*George Wallace - 34,489 (0.46%)
*Richard Nixon (write-in) - 13,610 (0.18%)
*Ronald Reagan (write-in) - 5,309 (0.07%)
*Ted Kennedy - 4,052 (0.05%)
*Paul C. Fisher - 506 (0.01%)
*John G. Crommelin - 186 (0.00%)

References

* [http://www.ourcampaigns.com/CandidateDetail.html?CandidateID=19159 OurCampaign.org profile with electoral history]
* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B05E5DF103BF931A25752C1A960958260 - New York Times article on his death]


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