- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 9, 2005

John Harllee, 91, retired rear admiral

John Harllee, a retired Navy rear admiral and former chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, died Feb. 5 of pneumonia at Maplewood Parkway Assisted Living Facility in Bethesda. He was 91.

Born in the District, he graduated from Western High School in the District, the Naval Academy and the Naval War College.

As a lieutenant, he was stationed at Pearl Harbor and participated in its defense during the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941. During World War II, he commanded Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 12 in the Southwest Pacific, which received the Presidential Unit Citation.

He received the Silver Star and Legion of Merit for conduct in action in World War II. From 1947 to 1948, he served in the Navy’s Congressional Liaison Unit on special assignment to U.S. Rep. John F. Kennedy.

During the Korean War, Adm. Harllee served as executive officer aboard the cruiser USS Manchester, for which he was decorated with the Commendation Ribbon. He retired from the Navy in 1959.

He served as chairman for the Citizens for Kennedy and Johnson in Northern California during the 1960 election. President Kennedy appointed Adm. Harllee to the Federal Maritime Commission in 1961. He was promoted to chairman in 1963, was reappointed by President Johnson in 1965, and served until retirement in 1969.

Adm. Harllee worked as a maritime consultant until 1974. He traveled extensively, making trips to Morocco, Turkey, Russia, China and more than 30 other countries.

He wrote three books — “The Marine from Manatee,” “Terror and Triumph,” and “From Ships Destroyed to Ships Enjoyed” — as well as articles for professional magazines.

He was a member of the Chevy Chase Club, PT Boats Inc., Peter Tare, the Army-Navy Club of Washington, D.C., the New York Yacht Club and the National Press Club.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Jo Beth Carden of San Francisco, and his second wife, Helen Tewksbury King of Chevy Chase.

He is survived by a son, John Harllee Jr. of the District; two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

He will be interred at 10:30 a.m. March 11 with full honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

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