The submarine community, in general, and The Submarine Review in particular, lost a true friend and valued contributor when John Merrill Sr., 93, passed away recently at his home in Waterford, Connecticut. John will be well remembered for his accomplishments in many fields; for his professional career in submarine electronic systems development, for his efforts in support of libraries and colleges within the civilian community, and for his prowess in swimming competitions at the Masters level-he was still winning medals in his nineties. Readers of this magazine will remember him for his large body of work in describing the foundations of the technological development which led to American dominance in the difficult world of undersea warfare. His writings for The Submarine Review covered over twenty subjects appearing in full or in parts in more than thirty issues. A summary listing of those articles is appended here.
John started his service to his country in the thirties as a Coast Guard surface at a Great Lakes station. He soon showed aptitude for the radio field and early in World War II he was sent to the Capitol Radio Engineering Institute in Washington, D.C. He stayed in communications for the rest of his thirteen years as a Coast Guardsman. Married during the war, John and his wife Josephine soon settled in Connecticut. On completion of his active duty, John concurrently went back to school and started work at the Navy’s Underwater Sound Lab in New London. Initially at Mitchell College, he completed his Bachelor’s and Master’ s degrees at Hillyer College (now the University of Hartford), but he maintained a long-term relationship with Mitchell as an instructor and mentor. In point of fact, John was one of six, out of his immediate family of seven, who went to Mitchell.
John Merrill’s career at the Underwater Sound Lab/Naval Underwater System Center was long and distinguished. By the time he retired he was Head of Submarine Electromagnetic Systems. In 1974 he was presented the NUSC Award for Excellence in Management and in 1979 he received the Decibel Award for contributions to submarine communications. After retirement he was given emeritus status and completed a number of projects for the New London and Newport Labs.
He was an active member of the Nautilus Chapter of the Naval Submarine League. At various times in retirement (by his lights a term used only to describe a time-period, not an activity level) he served as President of the Waterford Library Board and on the Connecticut State Library Board. He was also a Fellow of the Blunt White Library at Mystic Seaport and enjoyed working at the Shain Library of Connecticut College.
All his many friends and admirers of his work, here at the League and the magazine join with his family in celebrating his life. We shall miss him.
John Merrill’s Articles in THE SUBMARINE REVIEW
Listed chronologically by the issue of publication.
|Ft. Trumbull-A Navy High Technology Site P.M.S. Blackett, Naval Officer, Nobel Prize Winner, Submarine Hunter|
|Submarine Radio Communications 1900-1945 April 1900: Inventor-Builder John P. Holland Delivers First US Submarine Pt I|
|October 1998||April 1900: Inventor-Builder John P. Holland Delivers First US Submarine Pt II|
|January 2001||World War II: Japan’s Disinterest in Merchant Ship Convoying|
|January 2002||Looking Around: A Short History of Submarine Periscopes Pt I|
|April 2002||Looking Around: A Short History of Submarine Periscopes Pt II|
|October 2002||Submarine Bells to Sonar and Radar: Submarine Signal Company 1901-1946 Pt I|
|April 2003||Submarine Bells to Sonar and Radar: Submarine Signal Company 1901-1946 Pt II|
|July 2003||Depth Charges; An Early Anti Submarine Weapon Pt I World War I|
|October 2003||Depth Charges; An Early Anti Submarine Weapon Pt II World War I|
|April 2004||Mathew Fountain Maury; Naval Officer, Scientist and Oceanographer|
|January 2005||Sea Mines; The Submarine’s Adversary and Weapon 1775-1918 Pt I|
|July 2005||Unlikely Allies; Great Britain, France, US and Japan in World War I|
|January 2006||Loran Showing the Way-Long Range Navigation (Land, Sea, Air) Pt I 1940-1942|
|January 2006||Sea Mines; The Submarine’s Adversary and Weapon 1775-1918 Pt II 20th Century|
|April 2006||Cold War Physicist Nicholas Christofolis|
|April 2006||Obituary for Dr. Donald Miller|
|January 2007||US Navy and 20th Century Oceanography: Summary 1900-1960 Pt I|
|April 2007||US Navy and 20th Century Oceanography: Summary 1900-1960 Pt II World War II|
|July 2007||Remembering the Sound Surveillance System Pt I|
|October 2007||Remembering the Sound Surveillance System Pt II|
|April 2008||Origins of the National Research Council: A Presence in 20th Century Naval Matters|
|July 2008||RCA and the Navy|
|January 2009||Perceptions/Realities: Thoughts on Quantum Physics|
|April 2009||Submarines in Early US Naval Institute Proceedings Pt I|
|July 2009||Submarines in Early US Naval Institute Proceedings Pt II|
|October 2009||Nathaniel Bowditch: Naval Navigator, Mathema-tician, Scientist, Actuary 1773-1838|
|October 2010||Operations Research: Evolution|