John C. Bains, Sr.
U. S. Navy
WWII US Military
Engineer and Deck Officer

Born in Shreveport, "Cal" finished high school, went into the printing business, and attended Centenary College, where he joined the Civilian Pilot Training program. The Army Air Forces called him up in September of 1941, but while in training he caught pneumonia and was washed out after losing a week of classes. Cal then entered the U.S. Navy, which sent him to diesel engineering school at the University of California, Berkeley. Cal's first tour of duty after the school was aboard a YNG (a gate vessel) as engineering officer. The vessel helped operate a gate across the Panama Canal. After four months, he was promoted to "skipper" of the ship. The Navy next sent him to a sub-chaser training center in Miami in January of 1944. He then was assigned as engineering officer aboard PCS 1431 (Patrol Craft Sweep), a training vessel in a fleet sonar school. Cal, by then a lieutenant (j.g.), trained Russians, French, and British naval personnel in sonar use. Cal was discharged in December of 1945. Joining the naval reserves in Shreveport he was called back into two years of active duty in 1951. Cal attended ABC (Atomic, Biological, Chemical) Warfare School in California, and then was stationed in Okinawa. There, with sixty-five enlisted men assigned to him, he served as engineering officer for AK-184, a cargo ship that carried frozen goods. After leaving active duty in 1953, Cal remained in the reserves and eventually made captain. In his civilian life, he was co-owner of Baines Press. Cal retired in 1985 and left the business to his son.