US Navy Grouping For Rear Admiral John Thomas Bottom, Jr. SOLD

Including a Signed Commission by then Acting Sec. of the Navy, Theodore Roosevelt.


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This is a nice-sized lot representing the career of Rear Admiral John Thomas Bottom, Jr.  This grouping of Navy material begins with Bottom’s career as a Midshipman at the US Naval Academy when he was appointed from Colorado in 1916.  The group consists of the following:

  1. Certificate of Appointment USNA, 1916. Signed by Josephus Daniels, Sec. Navy.
  2. USNA Certificate of Completion of Study dated 1919, Signed by RADM W. Brown, Superintendent, also L. J. Larson, Comdr., Sec. Academic Board.
  3. USNA Diploma, dated 1919, Elaborately printed, and signed by then Super. USNA, and all other department heads, mostly captains, etc. This is a large document 18x 25.
  4. US Navy Ensign’s Commission, 1919, Signed by Josephus Daniels, Sec Navy under the Woodrow Wilson Administration.  15×20.
  5. US Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade’s Commission, 1923, Signed by Theodore Roosevelt as Acting Sec of the Navy, under the Warren G. Harding Administration. 15×20.
  6. US Navy Lieutenant Commander’s Commission, 1935, Signed by E.J.King, Sec Navy, under the Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration. 15×20.
  7. US Navy Commander’s Commission, 1941, (with extremely weak, unreadable signature of Sec Navy), FDR Administration. 15×20.
  8. Document tin for the above.
  9. Ancient Order of the Deep certificate, 1923, on board USS Pillsbury. 10×14. Creasing.
  10. Same, larger format, 1936, on board USS Salt Lake City.  Signed by the Captain Allen S. Farquhar, USN. 15×21.
  11. Same, same format, 1943, on board USS Erben (Off the Ellice, Gilbert and Marshall Islands). Signed by Lt. Comdr. Payton, USN.  Framed.
  12. Framed Print, USS Gridley, Destroyer. I believe this is the new USS Gridley. The print is dated 1942. The original was painted by Gordon Grant. Some small water stains near the edge, top and bottom.
  13. Yard Long Photo, “Officer’s and Crew of the USS John D. Edwards, 1926.  10x 32. One rough crease, a few minor stains.
  14. Framed Photos, 7 snap shots of officer’s on board probably taken on the Cruiser, USS Salt Lake City. Bottom is the first of the photos starting from left. He promoted to Lt. Comdr. in 1935, (his rank is Lt. in photo) and he was on this ship at the time. The other officer’s are not identified that I can see.
  15. Period framed copy of obituary dated Oct. 11, 1983, extracted from The Clarion Ledger. Total framed 11 1/2x 13.
  16. 2 identical 8×10 glossy photos of Bottoms, Circa ’30s.
  17. Dress Sword and knot, etched name on the blade, Imported blade by Hortsmann, Phila. There is an older repair on the scabbard, where it broke, a poor repair., that is the only \issue. Overall condition of the sword is very good-fine showing use not abuse. The frosty etching on the blade is now an even shine overall, as loving care has worn it away.
  18. Officer’s dress sword belt and buckle.
  19. Commodore’s pennant, with slight fork tail pattern, and no provision for suspending. 30×36. Constructed of dark blue cotton bunting with white cotton star, double sided. White cotton shows soiling. One small tear (1/2 inch) and a few stress points in blue cotton,  The fork tail sections have been repaired with a lighter blue cotton (assuming the ends were chewed by some history hating rodent; overall would rate as fine.
  20. Rear Admiral’s Car Pennant, 20×27 approx. with canvas hoist sewn on with grommets.  No markings other than “TOP,” same construction as the above flag. Minor soiling on white cotton, fine+ condition.
  21. Evening dress coatee, trousers, and white cotton vest. Made by Schufle, Peppler & Kostens, Annapolis, MD, Label inside left pocket ID’d to Bottom, dated 1921 as Ensign. Upgraded to the rank of Lt.  Trousers are ID’s as well, the white cotton twill vest is void of buttons but has ID  “BOT 1” on the back of back strap. Very clean uniform, no shoulder boards.
  22. Dress uniform shoulder epaulettes, in excellent condition. Having the rank of Lieutenant. Gilt and silver bullion bright showing very little wear. Marked “Made In France.” No case.
  23. Summer Dress White Cotton Uniform coat and trousers. Void of any buttons. An ID in the coat named to a “Davis,” but size is the same for Bottoms.  Came with the lot and Bottom may very well have taken a retiring officer’s clothing for his own use……just a thought. Cotton is toning from age, will clean up.
  24. Small group of research and bio materials.
  25. Not photographed is Bottom heavy overcoat with captain’s rank on the sleeves. Excellent condition.


Admiral Bottom had a thirty year career in the Navy. He was born in Denver, Colorado, May 16, 1899.

  • Entered USNA 1916
  • Graduated 1919.
  • Served consecutively in the USS Troy, USS New Jersey, USS Gridley, USS Pillsbury an the USS John D. Edwards. Then assigned as Asst. Sqd. Engr. Officer of Destroyer Squadron 15, Asiatic Fleet from Dec. 1928 until April 1931, transferring to Destroyer Squadron 5, Asiatic Fleet.
  • From 1931-33 on board USS Salt Lake City, a cruiser.
  • 1938 assumed command of the new USS Gridley (assuming the old one was an early WWII vintage “4 Stacker.”  A year later transferred to command of USS Salinas, serving there until June, 1941.
  • May 1942, reported to Commander in Chief US Fleet, for duty routing and convoying of merchant ships commandeered for Navy use for war operations.
  • Early 1943 he went to Brazil to take command of the Windhuk, an interned German ship, which he brought back to the Navy Yard, Norfolk, Virginia for conversion  and in March, 1943 re-commissioned in the US Navy as the USS Le Jeune, and auxiliary transport.
  • In July, took command of Destroyer Squadron 48, with addition duty as commander Destroyer Division 95. He was awarded the Silver Star Medal “For gallantry and intrepidity in the line of his profession as Commander of a Destroyer division and Screen Commander during the action for the occupation of the Gilbert Islands 18-26, Nov., 1943.
  • Sept. 1944, he had duty on the staff of the commander Destroyers, Pacific Fleet, and later assigned as Representative, Commander, Destroyers, Pac. Fleet in the Central  Pacific Forward Area. For his services was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with”V” Clasp.
  • May 22, 1945, assumed the rank of Commodore as Commander, Task Force Flotilla 1, Destroyers, Pacific until March, 1946.
  • Commander Reserve Fleet, San Diego Group, 19th Fleet.
  • Retired in 1950.
  • In addition to the Silver Star and the Bronze Star Medals, Admiral Bottoms has the Victory Medal WWI, Atlantic Fleet Clasp (USS New Jersey); Yangtze Service Medal (USS Black Hawk); American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp (USS Salinas); Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; American Campaign Medal; WWII Victory Medal.


A great group very representative of a fine career.

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