Jack Jestiny Appleby was born in Ozar, Missouri, on August 22, 1915, son of Felix J. and Frances (List) Appleby. He attended Santa Ana (California) High School, and in 1938 received the degree of Bachelor of Science from the University of California at Berkeley. While in college he was a member of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps, Unit, and upon graduation was commissioned Ensign in the US Naval Reserve, May 21, 1938. A member of the Inactive Reserve from May until August that year, he was commissioned Ensign, Supply Corps, US Navy, to date from August 15, 1938. Advancing progressively in rank, he subsequently attained that of Rear Admiral on May 1, 1965, to date from July 1, that year.
After receiving his commission in the US Navy in 1938, he had instruction at the Naval Supply and Finance School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, until May 1939. He next served as Disbursing Officer and Assistant Supply Officer on board USS Saratoga. Detached from that aircraft carrier in May 1941, he joined Fleet Air Wing FOUR as Supply Officer; was in that assignment when the United States entered World War II, December 8, 1941, and subsequently participated in the Aleutian Campaign.
During the period September 1942 to September 1943 he was Assistant to the Supply Officer at the Naval Air Station, Seattle, Washington, and while there also served as Naval Air Station, Seattle, Washington, and while there also served as Naval Air Center Supply Officer. In October 1943, he reported as Supply Officer on the Staff of Commander Fleet Air Wing SIXTEEN. “Four outstanding performance of duty as Aviation Supply Officer in the South Atlantic area for the period October 6, 1943 to November 10, 1944…” he received the Navy Commendation Medal, from the Commander South Atlantic Force.
Between January and July 1945, he served as Assistant Supply Officer on the Staff of Commander Air Force, US Atlantic Fleet. Ordered to the Norfolk (Virginia) Navy Yard, he had pre-commissioning duty in USS Tarawa (CV-40), and joined that aircraft carrier as Supply Officer when she was commissioned, December 8, 1945. In June 1946, he became Director of the Personnel Division in the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, Navy Department, Washington, DC, where he remained until October 1950. He next was Supply and Fiscal Officer at the Naval Air Station, Alameda, California, and in August 1954 reported for instruction (Naval Warfare I and II) at the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island.
Assigned in July 1956 to the Staff of Commander Naval Air Force, Pacific Fleet, he was Supply Officer and Comptroller until August 1958 and the next month reported as Executive Officer of the Aviation Supply Office, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In August 1960, he assumed command of the Naval Ships Store Office, Brooklyn, New York, with additional duty from January 1963 as Assistant Chief for Resale Programs, resident in Brooklyn. For a year, April 1965 to April 1966, he was Deputy Chief of Naval Material (Material and Facilities), Navy Department, after which he served as Deputy Commandant of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Washington, DC. “For exceptionally meritorious service from July 1966 through June 1968…” in that capacity, he was awarded the Legion of Merit.
In August 1968, he assumed command of the Naval Supply Center, Oakland, California and was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Legion of Merit “for exceptionally meritorious service…” On July 1, 1971, he was transferred to the Retired List of the US Navy.
In addition to the Legion of Merit with Gold Star and the Navy Commendation Medal, Rear Admiral Appleby has the American Defense Service Medal; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one star; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; and the National Defense Service Medal with bronze star.