John McCain, An Extraordinary American
McCain condemned the CIA's torture practices after 9/11, saying they stained national honor. He emphasised that "our enemies act without conscience. We must not."
John McCain III was born into a naval family, to John S. McCain, Jr. and Roberta McCain at Coco Solo Naval Air Station in the Panama Canal Zone. His father, Admiral John S. McCain II, served as Commander United States Pacific Command while paternal grandfather, John S. McCain Sr. was also a four-star United States Navy admiral. The two were the first father-son pair to achieve four star ranks.
Becoming one of the oldest men to become a naval aviator, John McCain, Sr. pioneered aircraft carrier operations in WWII. In 1942, he commanded all land-based air operations in support of the Guadal canal campaign, the Philippines and Okinawa, causing tremendous destruction to the Japanese naval and air force in the closing period of the war. He died four days after the formal Japanese surrender ceremony. In 1949, he was posthumously promoted to full admiral by a resolution of Congress. During WWII, his son, John McCain, Jr. commanded submarines in a number of operations; sinking several Japanese ships. Decorated with both the Silver and Bronze Star, he was Commander in Chief of Pacific Command [CINCPAC] during the Vietnam War, for all U.S. forces in the Vietnam Theatre from 1968-1972.
After graduation, John McCain III became a naval aviator. Requesting a combat assignment, McCain was posted to the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal, flying A-4 Skyhawk’s. His combat duty began in mid-1967, when Forrestal was assigned to Operation “Rolling Thunder.” McCain and his fellow pilots were frustrated by micro-management from Washington, later writing, “In all candour, we thought our civilian commanders were complete idiots who didn’t have the least notion of what it took to win the war.”
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