John C. Porter was born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1924, and grew up in Claremont, New Hampshire and later in Newport, Rhode Island. He developed an early interest in radio, building his own radios and working for a radio and TV business installing antennas. He took and passed the FCC's test to acquire amateur call letters, but Pearl Harbor intervened. Amateur radio use was prohibited, and no call letters were issued for the duration of World War II. He wanted to be a radioman in the Navy, and was accepted.
At the age of eighteen, Porter joined the Navy in Providence, Rhode Island. He was assigned to a new ship being commissioned at Sparrow's Point, in Baltimore, the U.S.S. Severn, which saw service in the Pacific. After the War, Porter worked as a plumber and school custodian in Scituate, Rhode Island. He retired in 1987 and died in 1992.
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Merchant Marine/Navy World War Two Oral History and Memorabilia Collection, 405, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.