John Michael Ferrante was born in Centerville, California, on February 3, 1922, son of Alexander J. and Maria Besso Ferrante. He attended San Jose (California) State College, after graduation from Washington Union High School in Centerville. He began naval service as a Reserve Midshipman at Cornell University on October 2, 1942, and was commissioned Ensign in the US Navy on March 9, 1945. By subsequent advancement he attained the rank of Commander, to date from May 1, 1961.
From July through December 1945 he served a Navigator and Second Division Officer of USS Black (DD-666), and in January 1946 joined the Staff of Commander as Squadron CIC Officer, and during the period ending in November 1947 participated in the “A” bomb test at Bikini Atoll in 1946 and Task Force 38’s cruise to Australia.
In December 1947 he joined USS PCE-895, assigned to Weather Patrol and base at Pearl Harbor. Aboard her until March 1949, he served as Executive Officer, Gunnery Officer, 1st Lieutenant, Navigator, Communication Officer, Aerology Officer and Operations Officer. The next two years he had duty as Communications Watch Officer on the Staff of the Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet. After his return to the United States in June 1951, he was a student at CIC Officer School, Glenview, Illinois, for six months.
From December 1951 until November 1952 he was on board USS Boxer (CVA-21), and participated in the Korean police action as F-Division Officer, CIC Watch Officer, and CCA Officer. In December 1952, after his return to the United States, he was assigned to USS Walker (DDE-517) which, while he was serving as Operations Officer, CIC Officer and Training Officer cruised to the Western Pacific. He was detached in December 1954 and in January 1955 reported to the Fleet Training Center, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for duty as Executive Officer and Aircraft Instructor.
He served successively as Executive Officer of USS Yarnall (DD-541) and USS Stoddard (DD-566) during the period September 1957 to October 1959, then commanded USS Currie (DE-700) until that vessel was decommissioned in April 1960. Ordered to the Fleet Sonar School, US Naval Base, Key West, Florida, he as a student, then served as an instructor until January 1962, and the next five months was a student at the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia. In May 1962 he assumed command of USS Ingraham (DD-694).
Commander Ferrante has the American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one operation star; the World War II Victory Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal, Asia Clasp; National Defense Service Medal; Korean Service Medal; and United Nations Service Medal.