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Adapted from "Captain John J. Albers, United States Navy" [biography, dated 5 July 1956] in Modern Biographical Files collection, Navy Department Library.

Document Type
  • Biography
Wars & Conflicts
  • World War II 1939-1945
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Location of Archival Materials

John Juergen Albers 

29 July 1912 -  25 January 1996

PDF Version [3.1MB]

John Juergen Albers was born in Nashville, Tennessee, on 29 July 1912, son of Juergen L. and Almarine (Walker) Albers. He graduated, cum laude, from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, with the degree of Bachelor of Engineering in 1933. Later in 1939 he was awarded the degree of Civil Engineer. Employed as a civilian, by the US Army Engineers in Nashville, Tennessee and Louisville, Kentucky, he worked on river projects until 1936, when he accepted a position in the Bureau of Yards and Docks, Navy Department, Washington, DC. Commissioned Lieutenant (jg) in the Civil Engineer Corps, US Navy, on 15 October 1940, he subsequently advanced in rank, attaining that of Captain, to date from 1 July 1955.

Ordered into active Naval service, he reported in October 1940 as Resident Officer in Charge of Construction Contracts in the Eleventh Naval District, with headquarters in San Diego, California. He continued duty there, following the United States' entry into World War II, 8 December 1941, until May 1943, after which he served as Dry Dock Liaison in the Pacific for the Bureau of Yards and Docks. Between April and November 1944 he was assigned to Dry Dock Assembly with the FOURTH Naval Construction Brigade, followed by instruction at the Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island.

In February 1945 he became Officer in Charge of Naval Construction Battalion Detachment 1053, Guam. In that assignment, he directed a selected CB Detachment employed in the specialized assembly of the unusual large sectional floating docks capable of docking battleships and carriers in the forward areas.

"For meritorious service...(in that capacity) during operations against enemy Japanese forces on the island, from February 2 to September 2, 1945..." he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. The citation continues in part:

"Exercising initiative and professional skill, Commander Albers efficiently directed the construction of five large advanced base sectional drydocks at Guam and Samar and contributed materially to their completion on schedule, thus rendering invaluable service in repairing ships of the Fleet..."

Between September and November 1946 he was Officer in Charge of Naval Construction Battalion SEVENTY SIX, after which he had similar service with Naval Construction Battalion TWENTY-THREE. In March 1947 he reported as Officer in Charge of Bureau of Yards and Docks Contract 13531 under the Director, Pacific Division, Bureau of Yards and Docks, and in April 1948 became Assistant Public Works Officer at the Naval Station, Norfolk, Virginia. He continued duty in Norfolk, serving from June 1948 to July 1950 as Executive Officer of the Public Works Center.

Following duty as Public Works Officer at the Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina, he reported in October 1952 as Assistant Public Works Officer in the First Naval District with headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. In December 1954 he became Officer in Charge of Construction of the "Texas Towers," a series of 6,000 ton radar islands constructed about 100 miles off the New England coast from New York City to Maine. For his work on this, he was selected for the First Society of American Military Engineers "Moreell Medal" awarded annually to the outstanding Naval Civil Engineer.

In addition to the Bronze Star Medal, Captain Albers had the American Defense Service Medal; the American Campaign Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific campaign Medal; the World War II Victory Medal; the National Defense Service Medal; and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon.

Captain Albers was a member of Tau Beta Pi, honorary engineering fraternity; Sigma Chi, social fraternity, and the American Society of Military Engineers.


Published: Fri Jan 05 11:45:57 EST 2018