LIEUTENANT COMMANDER JOHN R. SPIERS was the oldest child of Mark H. and Faith R. Spiers. He was born August 31, 1911 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His early years were spent at his grandfather's house at 111 North Wayne Avenue in Radnor PA, where, in 1920 the Spiers family lived. His grandfather taught at a private school in the area, and his father was in the soap business. By 1930 the Spiers family had moved to 309 Kings Highway in Brooklawn NJ, and Mark Spiers was working as a salesman for a publishing house. After attending the Penn Charter School in Philadelphia, John Randall Spiers was appointed to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where he graduated in 1932, finishing 169th in a class of 421 graduates.
After graduating from Annapolis, John Randall Spiers, known as Jack to family and friends, was trained as a naval aviator. He was based for a time at Coronado CA, where he met his wife, the daughter of a career Marine.
Stationed at the Naval Air Station at Quonset Point RI, Lieutenant Commander John R. Spiers was lost in a plane crash off the Atlantic coast on October 11, 1942. He was survived by his wife and a young daughter, Martha, his parents and three sisters, Faith, Marcia, and Phoebe. Mrs. Spiers returned to California, where she raised their daughter.
In recent years Martha Spiers Lepore is active in the American War Orphans Network.
Camden Courier-Post - January 7, 1928
23 YOUNG AMERICANS ANXIOUS TO BECOME GENERALS OR ADMIRALS
Twenty-three South jersey youths are shown taking the United States Civil Service Examination to qualify for appointments as students at West Point and Annapolis. Congressman Charles A. Wolverton will appoint one boy to the Military Academy at West point and two boys to the Naval Academy at Annapolis.
TAKING EXAMS FOR U.S. ACADEMIES
candidates for appointment to the United States Military or Naval
Academies participated in the preliminary examinations held in Camden this
of the youths reside in the First Congressional District of New Jersey,
and have attended South Jersey high schools or preparatory schools.
Congressman Charles A.
Wolverton will appoint one youth to a vacancy at the military academy
at West Point NY, while two youths will be named for the naval training
institution at Annapolis MD.
tests today were held at the Camden Y.M.C.A. under the supervision of the
United States Civil Service Commission. Earl C. Sheffer and Charles G.
Powell were examiners, while Miss Dora E. Yuschincky, private secretary to
the papers are marked and graded by the commission, they will later be
sent to Congressman Wolverton to aid him in making his appointments. The
tests today are but preliminary examinations, for after receiving their
appointments, the candidates must qualify at their respective academies to
gain entrance as students
youth took examinations for both West Point and Annapolis. They are John
W. Parr and Louis G. Soistman
Those who took the tests for Annapolis are as follows:
Harry L. Broy, John Milton Davidson, George
R. Fink, Norman W. Frazier, Frederick Holton, Edward Leigh Hutchinson,
John Louis Koehler, Charles W. Larzelere Jr., John H. Peterson, Alvin B.
Pitman 3rd. Charles R. Skerrett, John
R. Spiers and Robert S. Irving.
The youth who took the West Point Examinations are Albert S. Adams, Dominic Apostoli, James Winfield Coutts, Joseph J. McCullough, Benjamin F. Mercer, C. Harlow Miles, Harry W. Young, and William A. Nichols.
From the 1932 Lucky Bag, The U.S. Naval Academy Yearbook
JOHN RANDALL SPIERS
We've always imagined Welshman as very small, quick people with impossible names, but Jack is our human paradox. Six foot long of him convince us that crew is not for us. Intractable brown hair and hazel eyes complete the picture. Jack was born and brought up in Philadelphia. Penn Charter was his stamping ground before the lure of the uniform got him. We will always feel that Jack has gotten a great deal more out of this our vale of tears than most. He believes implicitly in his ability to shape his life after his own ideals, though he is never obtrusive about it. Athletics appeal to him in their ultimate importance to health. Music has charms to soothe him, but he seldom raves over it. His keenly inquisitive mind, coupled with his inherited conscientiousness, keeps him booming long after we have knocked off for the day. Somewhere in the service we will meet him again and will be reminded of the good it has done us to know him. Always considerate, interested and active, we know his success is assured.
Soccer; Crew; MPO [Cadet Master Petty Officer]
Thanks to David Wright of Oaklyn NJ for his help in researching this page.
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