Joseph Francis Deegan was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, on June 5, 1892, son of William and Margaret Ireland Deegan, both now deceased. He attended Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, and received the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from Columbia College, New York City, and Columbia Law School, respectively. He entered the Naval Service on May 1, 1917, shortly after the United States declared war on Germany, and served as a Chief Yeoman in the Office of the Censor at the US Naval Training Center, Pelham Bay, New York, throughout World War I and until March 17, 1919.
Commissioned Ensign in the US Naval Reserve Force, to date from March 1, 1919, he served until September 19, that year, as Assistant to the Supply Officer of USS Callao. Released from active duty, he was Supply Officer of the Organized Reserve at Perth Amboy until December 1, 1940, except for a period from April 1, 1921 to December 29, 1921, when he was out of the Reserve. Called to active duty during the National Emergency prior to World War II, he was assigned from December 1, 1940, until May 1, 1941, to the Navy Yard, New York. There he served as Assistant Supply Officer, with additional duty concerning Labor and Transportation, in the rank of Lieutenant Commander, SC, USNR.
He was at sea during the period May 1, 1941 to April 15, 1942, as Supply Officer on board USS Leonard Wood (APA-12), then had a year’s duty as Officer in Charge of the Commissary Store at the Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During the latter period of the war he was Commissary Officer of the Naval Training Station, Sampson, New York, being transferred in August 1946 to similar duty at the Naval Training Station, Bainbridge, Maryland. He returned to New York City in July 1947, and served as Navy Market Officer there for almost four years. Detached in April 1951, he served until his retirement, in the rank of Captain, USNR, on February 1, 1954, as the Supply and Commissary Officer at the Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois.
Captain Deegan has the Victory Medal with Bronze Star for World War I; the Naval Reserve Medal with two Bronze Stars (for thirty years’ service in the US Naval Reserve); the American Defense Service Medal with Bronze “A”; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; and the National Defense Service Medal.
In civil life, Captain Deegan is an Attorney in Perth Amboy, having been a member of the New Jersey Bar since October 1918. He is Counselor at Law and Special Master in the Court of Chancery, and has been admitted to the Federal Bar. He is also Chairman, Edison Commission, in the State of New Jersey.