Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Nimitz Library
Nimitz Library

John R. Johannesen Papers, 1912-1995 (bulk 1944-1995): Finding Aid

Published in February 2016

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
  • Call number: MS 431
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: John R. Johannesen Papers
  • Dates: 1912-1995
  • Bulk Dates: 1944-1995
  • Size: 1.83 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 1 manuscript box, 2 flat boxes
  • Creator: Johannesen, John R., 1901-1995
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: John R. Johannesen was an officer in the United States Navy and a member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1923. The Johannesen Papers focus primarily on Johannesen's command of LST Flotilla Eleven leading up to and during the Allied invasion of Normandy during World War II, and on D-Day in general.

Biography of John R. Johannesen

John Raymond Johannesen was born in Erie, Pennsylvania on March 19, 1901. Appointed to the United States Naval Academy from Erie in 1919, he graduated from the Academy as a member of the Class of 1923. In the years following his graduation from the Academy, Johannesen served aboard destroyers, cruisers, and battleships, including working on the development of equipment necessary to convert U.S.S. Utah (Battleship: BB-31) into a radio-controlled target ship in the 1930's.

In the early stages of World War II, Johannesen was assigned to the Bureau of Naval Personnel, where he worked on developing enlisted promotion procedures and policies. Later in the War, Johannesen received command of LST Flotilla Eleven, working closely with the British to ferry troops and equipment across the English Channel during the Invasion of Normandy. Johannesen's Flotilla also transported British troops to Norway in connection with the surrender of German troops there. Following the Invasion, Johannesen continued to transport equipment from England to France, notably railroad cars and locomotives. Shortly before the end of the War, Johannesen was transferred back to the United States to train amphibious units for action in the Pacific Theater.

After World War II, Johannesen received command of the Great Lakes Naval Training Command. Following a two-year tour at Great Lakes, he assumed duty as Commanding Officer of the amphibious command ship U.S.S. Adirondack (AGC-15). Johannesen's final tour of duty was on the staff of the Commandant, Fifth Naval District.

Following his retirement from the U.S. Navy with the rank of Rear Admiral in 1953, Johannesen worked as a construction and project manager for a housing development for enlisted personnel at Bainbridge, Maryland. He also worked for the Uplands affordable housing firm in Baltimore. As an active member of the Class of 1923, Johannesen served as the long-time Class Secretary. Rear Admiral John R. Johannesen died at the Arleigh Burke Pavilion on September 22, 1995.

Back to Top

Description of Contents

The John R. Johannesen Papers, comprising 1.83 linear feet of documentation, span from 1912 through 1995, with the majority of the documentation commencing in 1944. The Johannesen Papers focus primarily on Johannesen's command of LST Flotilla Eleven leading up to and during the Allied invasion of Normandy during World War II, and on D-Day in general.

Included in the collection are reports, memoranda, orders, publications, clippings, rosters, letters, speeches, handwritten notes, photographs, and maps and charts.

The Johannesen Papers are arranged alphabetically by topic and document type into a single records series with no subdivisions. Over two-thirds of the collection is the product of, or refer to, Johannesen's command of LST Flotilla Eleven during World War II. Consisting primarily of Johannesen's official war diary, individual action reports, orders, and memoranda, the Flotilla Eleven materials discuss not only the landing operations of the invasion of Normandy, but also post-invasion LST operations and the large scale preparation activities, including the ill-fated Exercise Tiger of the spring of 1944. In addition to its mention in Johannesen's own documents, Exercise Tiger is also represented in the collection through materials and correspondence received by Johannesen from other LST officers and men. The remainder of the collection is largely composed of retrospective material collected by Johannesen regarding D-Day and World War II in general, as well as several speeches and handwritten notes on the subject. The papers also include several documents and photographs pertaining to U.S.S. LST 5, which while taking part in the Invasion of Normandy, was not a part of Johannesen's LST Flotilla. One item in the collection, a navigation notebook, dates from Johannesen's studies as a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy.

Also included in the collection is a 1912-1913 photograph album consisting of photographs of Cuba. The album, inscribed F. F. Reynolds, may be the product of Frank Faries Reynolds, United States Naval Academy Class of 1911.

Back to Top


The John R. Johannesen Papers are arranged alphabetically by topic and document type.

Back to Top

Access and Use


Access to fitness reports is restricted due to the presence of Personally Identifiable Information. Access to any potentially classified material is restricted.

Copyright and Permission

The John R. Johannesen Papers are the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.

Back to Top

Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition

Gift of Jack Lynn in November 1996. Accession No. 96-85.

Back to Top

Related Materials

Related Archival Material

Additional material pertaining to Johannesen's career in the United States Navy and time as a midshipman may be found in his Midshipman Personnel Jacket and Alumni Jacket. Material pertaining to Johannesen's role as Secretary of the Class of 1923 may be found in the United States Naval Academy Class of 1923 Records, MS 430, in Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library, United States Naval Academy.

Materials Cataloged Separately

The following twelve books have been removed from this collection, copies of which are available in Special Collections & Archives and the Nimitz Library general collection:

Alexander, John W., ed. United States Navy Memorial : A Living Tradition. [Arlington, Va.?: United States Historical Society and the United States Navy Memorial Foundation, 1988]. Buffataut, Yves. D-Day Ships: The Allied Invasion Fleet, June 1944. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1994. Holmes, W. J. Double-Edged Secrets : U.S. Naval Intelligence Operations in the Pacific During World War II. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1979. Jones, Ken and Hurber Kelley, Jr. Admiral Arleigh (31-Knot) Burke : The Story of a Fighting Sailor. Philadelphia: Chilton Books, 1962. Maroon, Fred J. and Edward L. Beach. Keepers of the Sea. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1983. Mason, John T., Jr., ed. The Atlantic War Remembered: An Oral History Collection. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1990. Mason, John T., Jr., ed. The Pacific War Remembered: An Oral History Collection. Annapolis, Md. : Naval Institute Press, 1986. Miller, Nathan. The U.S. Navy: An Illustrated History. New York: American Heritage, 1977. Mooney, James L., ed. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Vol. 1, Washington: Naval Historical Center, Dept. of the Navy, 1991-. Morison, Samuel Eliot. History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. Vol. 1, Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1947-62. Potter, E. B. Admiral Arleigh Burke. New York: Random House, 1990. Smith, S. E., ed. The United States Navy in World War II; The One-Volume History, from Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay, by Men Who Fought in the Atlantic and the Pacific and by Distinguished Naval Experts, Authors and Newspapermen. New York: Morrow, 1966.

Back to Top

Processing and Other Information

Johannesen's Naval Academy navigation notebook was previously processed and housed with the Alumni/Memorabilia section of the Naval Academy Archives until October 2016.

Preferred Citation

John R. Johannesen Papers, MS 431

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Processing Information

This collection was processed by David D'Onofrio in February 2016. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in February 2016.

Back to Top

Subject Headings

Name and Subject Terms

  • Johannesen, John R., 1901-1995
  • Landing craft -- United States -- History -- 20th century
  • Military maneuvers -- England -- Slapton Sands -- History -- 20th century
  • Operation Neptune
  • United States. Navy. LST Flotilla, 11th
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Amphibious operations
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- France -- Normandy

Genre Terms

  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Correspondence
  • Manuscripts
  • Notes (documents)
  • Orders (military records)
  • Photographs
  • Reports
Back to Top

Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Exercise Tiger, 1944-1993

Box 1 Folder 2

LST Flotilla Eleven - Action Reports, 1944 April-July

Action reports for Exercise Tiger and Operation Neptune.

Box 1 Folder 3

LST Flotilla Eleven - B-1 Convoy Instructions, 1944 June 2

Operation Neptune convoy instructions.

Box 1 Folder 4

LST Flotilla Eleven - Cruise Books, 1945, undated

Cruise books for U.S.S. LST 289 and U.S.S. LST 511.

Box 2[OS]

LST Flotilla Eleven - English Channel Handbook, 1943

Published by the Admiralty. Charts and sailing directions for navigating the English Channel in small craft.

Box 1 Folder 5

LST Flotilla Eleven - Fitness Reports, 1945

Access restricted due to the presence of Personally Identifiable Information.

Box 1 Folder 6

LST Flotilla Eleven - Memoranda, 1944-1946

Primarily award recommendations for Operation Neptune.

Box 1 Folder 7

LST Flotilla Eleven - Operation Neptune Sailing Orders, 1944 June 1

Box 1 Folder 8

LST Flotilla Eleven - "Q" LCT Squadron in "Operation Neptune" (Action Report), 1944 June 29

Reports of operations of British LCT's, including landing operations, damage, casualties, and lists of staff officers.

Box 1 Folder 9-10

LST Flotilla Eleven - War Diary, 1944 January-1945 June

Movements and operations of the Flotilla during Exercise Tiger and the landings of Operation Neptune.

Box 1 Folder 11

Map, undated

Great Lakes region and surrounding waterways.

Box 1 Folder 12

Miscellaneous Notes, undated

Box 1 Folder 13

Miscellaneous Speeches, undated

Speeches and notes on German naval failures and the Special Service Squadron.

Box 1 Folder 14

Naval Historical Foundation, 1994, undated

Includes excerpts from the "World War II Naval Chronology Series" and a copy of Destroyers at Normandy: Naval Gunfire Support at Omaha Beach.

Box 3[OS] Folder 3

Navigation Notebook, 1922

Navigation notes and practical work from Johannesen's Second and First Class years.

Box 1 Folder 15

Navy Day, 1945

Operation orders for the Atlantic Fleet, Fleet Operational Training Command.

Box 1 Folder 16

Newspaper and Magazine Clippings, 1984-1994

D-Day retrospectives and an article on the Doolittle Raid.

Box 1 Folder 17

Personnel Documents, 1953, undated

Johannesen's Navy identification card and DD-214.

Box 1 Folder 18

Photograph, undated

Inscribed photograph of Lieutenant Richard H. Kimball.

Box 3[OS] Folder 1

Photograph Album, 1912-1913

Images of Cuban beaches, Guantanamo Bay, Fort Toro, Fisherman's Point, Manzanillo Bay, and the Gatun Locks. Inscribed F. F. Reynolds.

Box 3[OS] Folder 2

United States Navy Memorial Commemorative Stamp, undated

Box 1 Folder 19

U.S.S. LST 5, 1944 (approximate), 1991

Crew/officer rosters and photographs of the vessel and operations at Cherbourg.

Box 1 Folder 20

U.S.S. LST 511, 1992-1995

Ship's newsletter and roster of surviving officers and crew. Includes material on Exercise Tiger.

Back to Top