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Rear Admiral John Geraerdt Crommelin, Jr. (October 2, 1902November 2, 1996) was a prominent United States Navy officer and later a frequent political candidate who championed white supremacy.

Early life and naval career

Born in Montgomery, Alabamamarker as eldest of five brothers, he graduated an United States Naval Academymarker in Annapolis, Marylandmarker in 1923. Previously he grew up in Montgomery and in Elmore County, Alabamamarker.

He saw combat at the Pacificmarker during World War II. All of his brothers also graduated from the US Naval Academy and two of them were killed in action during WWII.

Crommelin earned a reputation of courageous and skillful naval aviator and nickname "bomb-run John". He served as an executive officer as well as air officer aboard the Enterprise and was chief of staff aboard the carrier Liscombe Bay when it was sunk in the Makin Island campaign off the Gilbert Islands.

In 1949 he served at Navy headquarters in The Pentagonmarker in rank of captain. He became there a vocal critic of navy politics, despite being in active service. Captain Crommelin publicly complained that the Defense Department was scuttling naval air power and showing improper favor to the Air Force, and that "a Prussian General Staff system of the type employed by Hitler" was being imposed on the armed forces under unification.

Crommelin was publicly reprimanded by Admiral Forrest P. Sherman, then Chief of Naval Operations, for making public confidential Navy letters linking top admirals to active opposition against unification.

In result, he was transferred to San Francisco, Californiamarker. After he continued his criticism in the face of orders to keep silent, he was ordered by Admiral Sherman to be furloughed at half pay, beginning early in 1950.

His activity and views became publicly well-known. In example in 1950 The New York Times's military affairs expert Hanson W. Baldwin wrote that Captain Crommelin was a "stormy petrel who wouldn't shut up."

Crommelin retired from active duty with the rank of Rear Admiral in May 1950, after 30 years. He went to operate a part of his family plantation, named Harrogate Springs, in Elmore County, raising a variety of crops.

Political activity

Although he was widely praised and credited for his courage in speaking out for his views and for his previous distinguished combat career, Crommelin's reputation suffered from his later political involvement.

A strong supporter of Senator Joseph McCarthy, he ran for various public offices while in retirement.

At this time he was known for segregationist, white-supremacist and antisemitic public views. A self-styled white man's candidate, he claimed that Jews are the real enemy of "white Christian Alabamians", asserting that they controlled the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

A website run by white supremacist James von Brunn featured a letter from Crommelin to von Brunn's son praising von Brunn for his service to white Christians and decrying the fact that von Brunn was experiencing legal problems in connection with von Brunn's "citizens' arrest" attempt (effectively, a kidnapping attempt) of governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Alongside his Senatorial and Gubernatorial bids in Alabama, he was nominated for Vice President by the minor far-right National States' Rights Party (not to be confused with the more moderate Dixiecrats), as the running mate of Governor of Arkansas Orval Faubus.

During the United States presidential election of 1968 he ran in the Democratic New Hampshiremarker primary, winning only 186 votes (0.34%) and finishing fifth.

None of his electoral bids was successful.

He married Lillian E. Landis in 1930, who died in 1991. They had two daughters and one son.

Electoral history

Alabama United States Senate election, 1950
  • J. Lister Hill (D) (inc.) – 125,534 (76.54%)
  • John G. Crommelin (Independent) – 38,477 (23.46%)

Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate from Alabama, 1956
  • J. Lister Hill (inc.) – 247,519 (68.20%)
  • John G. Crommelin – 115,440 (31.81%)

Alabama gubernatorial election, 1958 (Democratic primary)

Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate from Alabama, 1960
  • John Sparkman (inc.) – 335,722 (86.68%)
  • John G. Crommelin – 51,571 (13.32%)

United States presidential election, 1960

Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate from Alabama, 1962

Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate from Alabama, 1966

United States presidential election, 1968 (Democratic primaries)


  1. New York Times article on his death
  2. Letter written to the son of radical white supremacist James Von Brunn while Von Brunn was in custody for attempting a "citizens' arrest" of members of the Federal Reserve Board in 1981.

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