In memory of James Ferris, RAdm USN Home » Memorials » James Ferris, RAdm USN

While stationed at NAS Alameda between July 1967 to June 1972, James Ferris was commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea (CV-43). After being promoted to Rear Admiral, Admiral Ferris commanded carrier division three and COMFAIR Alameda.

8 thoughts on “James Ferris, RAdm USN

  1. I had the pleasure of serving under then Captain Jim Ferris, when he took command of U.S.S. Coral Sea I believe in March of 1968 in Sasebo, Japan. We had just completed my first WestPac deployment to Vietnam and were about to go home to San Fransisco. Soon after taking command, he would be on the 1MC (the public address system aboard ship) and letting us know how many tons of mail from home was about to come aboard. We were steaming back to San Fransisco abeam the U.S.S. New Jersey, about one and a half miles off our port beam, when I noticed we were turning to starboard and as it turned out, were heading back to Sasebo. Captain Ferris announced what had transpired that caused our return to Sasebo. The U.S.S. Pueblo had just been detained by North Korean gun boats in the Sea of Japan. The Coral Sea was to steam off the coast of North Korea. We spent several weeks in the Sea of Japan before returning to Sasebo and subsequently going back to San Fransisco. Captain(RAdm) Ferris was my second skipper during my tenure aboard Coral Sea. He was the finest, kindest, most fair, understanding (of the enlisted man) Naval officer I halve ever met. After a year of commanding Coral Sea, he was replaced as is the custom in the Navy by my third commanding officer. The crew hated to see him go, but all of us understood, that was the way things were done. Jim Ferris was promoted to Rear Admiral soon after leaving Coral Sea and visited several times when we were in port. I last spoke to him personally when he came to see us off on our 1969-1970 WestPac cruise to Vietnam. After that cruise, I left the ship after having served aboard for over three years. I always thought of him after getting out of the Navy and going to college and eventually Med School, post doctoral training and practice. I looked for him on military sites and left a message that I was looking for him. Several months later, I received an e-mail from a gentleman who stated he played golf with Jim Ferris every weekend. I called him and he subsequently called Radm Ferris to ask if it would be alright if I called him. He immediately said yes, and we spoke for about half an hour. He told me at that time he was well except for a problem with prostate cancer, He was not concerned he said. He remembered me from all those years back. I told him I had gone on to become a physician. His first words were “Al, I am so proud of you!”. The tears welled up in my eyes, as he had always been a father figure to all of us in the crew. I am getting emotional even as I write this. I told him that his crew thought the world of him. Two years later, I learned he had passed away, I will always remember Jim Ferris as a friend, a hell of a commanding officer, and a gentleman of the first order. I miss him.

    1. I know exactly who you talked to (at least I think I do), most likely was John Ludden. I was aboard the Coral Sea the same time John was and in the same Division “M” and we are still in contact, so I know about him playing golf with Adm Ferris. And you are correct …Adm Ferris was a fabulous person, probably one of the most beloved Captains of the “Ageless Warrior”.

      1. Gary, I believe you are correct, I think I was John Ludden. We must’ve served aboard at the same time. In fact your name rings
        a bell. I stood Aft Steering watch wit several M Div guys. I was in E-Div.

      2. Gary, I believe you are correct, I think I was John Ludden. We must’ve served aboard at the same time. In fact your name rings
        a bell. I stood Aft Steering watch wit several M Div guys. I was in E-Div.

        1. I stood top watch in Main Control (3 engine room) and also was P.O. in charge of 3 generator Room among other spaces as my time in the Navy moved along. Admiral Ferris was undoubtedly the most thought of and beloved Captain that I knew during the time I was in the Navy. Kudos to you on becoming a M.D. It is a difficult road to travel to attain that station in life, good for you. I ended up working in hospitals for almost 30 years and retired as a Senior VP of a large hospital Corporation. Many of us did very well after we left the Navy and I am proud of all. I don’t know if John told you are not…..but John felt honored to be asked to say some words about Adm Ferris at his funeral. A great man that Adm Ferris.

  2. Sad to hear of Admiral Ferris’ passing . Dad , Cdr. then Lt. jg John B. Jorgensen came away from a successful tour of the South Pacific and as I read through correspondence left behind Ferris was a kind of alternate skipper for the Navy’s VF-12 aboard Saratoga . Apparently Admiral Ferris’ secretary was some kind of miracle worker in the several reunions that the Fighting 12 guys were able to make happen . Dad’s slides were a big hit at the get togethers , apparently . The pic of Joe Clifton with the cigar and glass in hand has become misplaced . My guess is after the 5 Nov 43 visit to Rabaul Joe’s smile will remain in my memory .

  3. I came on board the USS Coral Sea in the summer of 1968 as a Seaman in the R division. I was married and my wife became involved with the Coral Sea Wives Club. When the Coral Sea left for the 1968-1969 West Pac cruise my wife’s duty with the Wives Club was to write newsletter updates to Captain Ferris about the clubs activities. The club’s activity was to raise funds for transportation to Japan in December of 1968 to meet the ship which was scheduled to be docked for 10 days in Japan. The Wives Club was mostly made up of officers wife’s or senior NCO wife’s. Captain Ferris would always respond to my wife’s newsletters and that gave her a big thrill. My wife worked hard and saved so she could come over to Japan with the other wives. Captain Ferris was welcoming to the wives of all the sailors. Captain Ferris was a Gentleman first and a Naval Officer second. He was commander of Coral Sea less then a year and we were flying the Big “E” West Pac Fleet Award. He deserved the rank of Rear Admiral. The nation lost a great leader and gentleman.

  4. I was stationed onboard the USS Coral Sea from 1966 to 1970 and Captian Ferris was the finest officer that I ever serve under. The world lost a great man when he passed away. I will rember him always.

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