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Spencer Chapin Church was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 3, 1918, son of Captain John G. Church, USN, Retired, and Mrs. Madeline (de Steiguer) Church. He attended San Diego (California) State College and Claremont College, Claremont, California, prior to receiving his appointment as Ensign in the US Naval Reserve on July 11, 1942. Advancing progressively in rank, he subsequently attained that of Lieutenant Commander, to date from July 15, 1951.
After receiving his appointment in July 1942, he was assigned briefly to the Naval Reserve Midshipman School, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois. From October 1942 to June 1943 he was attached to the Naval Net Depot, Tiburon, California, followed by duty at the Net Depot, Naval Advanced Base, Noumea, New Caledonia. In August 1943 he joined the USS Locust, continuing to serve in that vessel until February 1945.
He was on duty at the Naval New Depot and Training School, Tiburon, California, until March 1946, and on June 1, 1946 was relieved of all active duty.
Ordered into active military service on August 28, 1951, he was assigned to the Naval School, Harbor Defense, Naval Station, Treasure Island, San Francisco. He remained there until December of that year, when he became Executive Officer of the Naval New Depot, Tiburon, California.
Lieutenant Commander Church has the American Campaign Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal.