Holmes, John Snyder, - 93, of Manahawkin, died Sunday, September 29, 2019, at his home. Born in Cobleskill, NY in 1925, John grew up in Downsville, NY. John enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942 and proudly served on the destroyer USS Charles S. Sperry (DD-697) as one of its first crew in the South Pacific. In 1946, John entered the U. S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and was part of the graduating class of 1950. Upon graduation from the Academy, he began a naval career in which he served aboard numerous ships in numerous leadership positions, including assignments with the Pentagon and three deployments to Vietnam. Notably, John was Commanding Officer of the USS Traverse County (LST-1160), deployed to the Caribbean during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He commanded the USS Edson (DD-946) off Diamond Head, HI, and was deployed to Vietnam, where the Edson took hostile fire and was awarded the "Top Gun Award" by the US Marines as well as the Meritorious Unit Citation by the US Navy while under his command. While in the Navy, he earned a BS degree in Aerology, a combination of Meteorology and Oceanography, at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterrey, CA, and served as a Meteorological Officer in Camberley, England, forecasting weather for a Navy Flight Squadron. John retired from the US Navy with the rank of Commander, having received numerous awards including Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with Combat V, and the Navy Commendation Medal. He subsequently joined the Merchant Marines and became a Port Pilot for San Pedro Bay (CA) and the Port of Los Angeles. He piloted more than 3,000 ships, including passenger ships (the QEII among them) and container/cargo ships of every description. After retiring as a Port Pilot, John joined American Hawaii Cruises out of Honolulu, HI, as Relief Master for the SS Independence and SS Constitution, later becoming Master of the SS Constitution. He was a member of the American Maritime Officers Union. After retiring the third time, John remained active with many interests, including sculpting, travel and visiting the many friends he made around the globe and close to home. He was a generous friend to many, loving father to McKay Holmes of Cypress, CA, Matthew Holmes of Issaquah, WA, and Camberley Holmes Bates of Boulder, CO, and doting husband and partner to Carmela E. Bond Holmes of Manahawkin. He is also survived by six grandchildren, of whom he was enormously proud. Private interment of ashes will take place at Paige Cemetery, Downsville, NY at a later date. The family of John S. Holmes greatly appreciates the many expressions of condolence from those who knew John. In honor of John, donations may be made in his name to the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum in Bay City, MI, which is the home of the USS Edson. Please visit https://www.ussedson.org/support-the-museum/give/. More information may be provided by Johnson McGinley Funeral Home, 2652 Hwy 138, Wall, NJ.

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