John Francis Laboon, SJ
UNITED STATES, 1995, first day in commission naval cover from the USS Laboon
featuring a picture of Fr. Laboon
For many other postmarks from the USS Laboon see the Naval Cover Museum
Born in Pittsburgh in 1921, John Francis "Jake" Laboon graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1944. He won the Silver Star for bravery during his subsequent submarine service. After the war, in October 1946 he entered the Jesuits, was ordained in 1956 at Woodstock, Maryland , and reentered the Navy two years later as chaplain. Over the next 21 years, he served in virtually every branch of the Navy and Marine Corps, became the first chaplain for the Polaris Submarine Program, and later the senior Catholic chaplain at the Naval Academy, the chaplain's center of which is named in his honor. After retiring from the service in 1979, he worked at the Manresa-on-Severn retreat house and as pastor of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez Church in Woodstock, Maryland. The Navy named a guided missile destroyer [DDG], the USS Laboon [DDG 58] in his honor, and the postmark shown is from the ship's post office.