John Ford file photo [25868]

John Ford

Given NameJohn
Born1 Feb 1894
Died31 Aug 1973
CountryUnited States


ww2dbaseJohn Martin Feeney was born to John Augustine Feeney and Barbara "Abbey" Curran in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, United States in 1894. He attended Portland High School, Portland, Maine. In 1914, he moved to California, United States where his older brother Francis had been working as an actor; he adopted the professional name "John Ford" to match the name "Francis Ford" that his brother had already been using. In 1920, he married Mary McBride Smith, with whom he would have two children. By the 1930s, he had become a successful director; at the start of the US entry into WW2, he was known for the popular 1939 film of the Western genre "Stagecoach". During WW2, he held the rank of commander in the US Navy Reserve and served as the head of the photographic unit for the Office of Strategic Services, working closely with the Navy Department. He won two Academy Awards in his war time capacity, one for the semi-documentary "The Battle of Midway" (Best Documentary) and another for the propaganda film "December 7th" (Best Documentary, Short Subject). These were his 5th and 6th Academy Awards, and he would go on to win one more with his 1952 film "The Quiet Man". He was wounded during the Battle of Midway, having been cut by shrapnel while filming a power plant under attack on Sand Island. In Jun 1944, he crossed the English Channel aboard the destroyer USS Plunkett during the invasion of Normandie, France, aboard which he observed the Omaha Beach landings; most of his film footage were not released to the public for that the US government was fearful of what such gruesome scenes would do to American morale. After the war, he remained in the USNR, and saw active service during the Korean War. He retired from USNR at the rank of rear admiral. In his long career in film, he ultimately directed a total of 140 movies, and would be considered one of the most influential directors of his period. John "Ford" Feeney passed away in Palm Desert, California in 1973 and was buried at the Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Oct 2016

Photographs Taken by John Ford

B-17E aircraft being serviced at Eastern Island, Midway Atoll, May-Jun 1942, photo 1 of 2B-17E aircraft being serviced at Eastern Island, Midway Atoll, May-Jun 1942, photo 2 of 2B-17E bomber taking off from Eastern Island, Midway Atoll, May-Jun 1942Burning Japanese aircraft above Sand Island, Midway Atoll, 4 Jun 1942
See all 15 photographs by John Ford

John Ford Timeline

1 Feb 1894 John Feeney was born in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, United States.
3 Jul 1920 John Ford married Mary McBride Smith.
31 Aug 1973 John Ford passed away in Palm Desert, California, United States from stomach cancer.

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More on John Ford
Event(s) Participated:
» Battle of Midway and the Aleutian Islands
» Normandy Campaign, Phase 1

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