John Gordon Fifield was born in New York, New York, on July 24, 1920, son of Lincoln S. and Ruth D. (Adams) Fifield. He attended Newton (Massachusetts) High School and received the degree of Bachelor of Arts from Colby College, Waterville, Maine. On March 7, 1942 he enlisted in the US Naval Reserve and after elimination flight training at the Naval Air Station, Squantum, Massachusetts, was appointed Aviation Cadet in October 1942. He had flight training at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida, and on August 1, 1943 was commissioned Ensign, USNR and designated Naval Aviator. He subsequently advanced in rank to that of Captain, to date from August 1, 1963, having transferred from the US Naval Reserve to the US Navy on December 13, 1945.
After receiving his “Wings” in 1943, he joined Bombing Squadron One Hundred Thirteen and in June 1944 reported as Assistant Operations Officer with Patrol Bombing Squadron One Hundred Twelve. In October 1945 he transferred, in a similar capacity, to patrol Squadron One Hundred Twenty and from January to September 1946 was Communications Officer with Patrol Squadron One Hundred Twenty Two. He served as Director of the Office of Naval Officer Procurement, Boston, Massachusetts, until January 1949, then had instruction at the General Line School, Monterey, California.
In January 1950 he reported as Flight of Experimental Squadron One and in April 1952 was detached for an assignment at the Naval Air Technical Training Center, Norman, Oklahoma. He remained there until April 1954, then had combat information center training. Duty afloat from October 1954 until August 1956 on board USS Ticonderoga (CV-14), preceded service as Antisubmarine Warfare Officer and Executive Officer of Patrol Squadron Twenty Three. He assumed command of that squadron on November 7, 1958.
He reported in January 1960 as Head of the Air Training Support Section, Aviation Training Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, Washington, DC, where he remained until July 1962. He next had instruction at the National War College, Washington, DC, and during the period June 1963 until June 1965 was assigned to the staff of the Commander in Chief, US Atlantic Fleet. The next month he assumed command of USS Monrovia (APA-31) and in October 1966 joined the Staff of the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island.
Captain Fifield has the American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; and the National Defense Service Medal with bronze star.