John Harrison Wells

Posted on Tuesday 3 July 2012

John Harrison Wells
Torpedoman’s Mate, Second Class

Age: 22
Birthplace: Marion, Ohio
Marital status: Married
Acknowledgements: May Laipply, sister; Harry Wells, brother; Michael Gannon, Norwich (CT) Bulletin; Kimberly Gasuras, Bucyrus (OH) Telegraph-Forum; Richard Tambling, Journal Inquirer, Manchester, CT

John Harrison “Jude” Wells was born on March 23, 1920 in Marion, Ohio, son of Lesta Belle and John S. Wells. Wanting to make the Navy his career, he enlisted for four years on January 25, 1939 at the Navy Recruiting Station, Cincinnati, Ohio and transferred to the Naval Training Station, Naval Operating Base, Norfolk, Virginia for training.

On April 23, 1939, he transferred to the Clemson-class destroyer U.S.S. Wasmuth (DD-338). In August he requested transfer to Submarine Base New London, Connecticut for submarine training. In November, he completed Elementary Machine Gun School and then transferred to Submarine School as requested. He completed training on February 12, 1940 and transferred to the shore-based training submarine U.S.S. R-2 (SS-79). In October, 1940 he completed Torpedoman training and advanced to Torpedoman’s Mate Third Class.

In March, 1941 he transferred to the Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for assignment to one of several “O” class submarines that were being recommissioned. He joined the submarine U.S.S. O-7 (SS-68) on March 5, 1941. In July he transferred to Navy Torpedo Station, Newport, Rhode Island for Advanced Torpedo School. He returned to the O-7 after graduating and was appointed Torpedoman’s Mate Second Class. On March 13, 1942, he transferred to U.S.S. Grunion Detail for her fitting out and became part of the permanent crew at her commissioning on April, 11, 1942.

In March, 1942 he married Elizabeth May Wells in Gales Ferry, CT.

May Laipply and Harry Wells are his only living siblings. They never met John’s wife, although she did stay in contact with Jude’s sisters Leatha and Virginia. May said that he was a wonderful person and everybody liked him.

Copyright © 2012 Mary Bentz. All Rights Reserved

1 Comment for 'John Harrison Wells'

    richard roush
    June 30, 2016 | 3:14 pm

    I am a nephew of John Harrison Wells being a son of Leatha Wells Roush!
    I am too young to remember uncle Jude but my eldest sister still living, Harriet Willick of Florida, remembers him well.
    I am proud of my uncle and glad it was finally revealed what happened to him and his submarine. my mother passed away in 1992 not knowing what happened.
    RIP Mom and Uncle Jude both!

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