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Board Member: CAPT Joel Jacobs

CAPT Joel H. Jacobs, USMM (Ret)

Joel Jacobs, family originally settled near Athens, GA, prior to the Civil War, then migrated to Natchez, MS, later to New York, and finally to Chicago.

NAVY HERITAGE: Joel's  father, served in both World Wars in the USCGR. His great grandfather, served in the Civil War on the side of the South. His father's cousin, Arnold Downing, was a Convoy Commodore in WW II. On Joel's mother's side, he is related to Harry Neumann, long deceased, a member of the Hawaiian Island's Defense Committee during WW II, and a former commissioner of Honolulu's Police Department. His mother's brother also, Harry was one of the first pilots in the US Army Signal Corps during WW I.

NAVAL TRAINING: Joel graduated from Admiral Farragut Academy, planning to attend the U.S. Naval Academy. At Farragut, he drilled as a Naval Reserve Seaman Apprentice with ZP 51 at Lakehurst NAS. Regrettably, Jacobs couldn't get a vision waiver for admission to Annapolis, so he joined the Navy instead. After Boot Camp, he was first assigned to the Boat House at USNTC-Great Lakes where he served as a harbor boat captain. Later, as a BM3, he was transferred to the USS Mc Kean DDR 784. He was the honor graduate of the USNS Enlisted Advanced Seamanship School in San Diego, and was recommended for a direct commission. After passing the GED tests, he again failed the eye exam. Disappointed, he opted out, with a paid college education and flight training as a Korean G.I. benefit. Graduated, Tulane University, BBA with multiple Honors and awards, 1956. Joel did graduate work at Northwestern through 1958.

BUSINESS and MARITIME BACKGROUND: From 1958 - 68, he worked for Volkswagen Mid-West Distributors, rising to the position of executive vice-president and general manager. Later, as president, CEO, of Imoco- Gateway Corp, which he co-founded, 1968 - 1978, Joel Jacobs built a listed conglomerate, with operations in heavy construction, chemicals, retailing, marine navigation and air transportation. During this period he also attained an Unlimited Oceans, Master license in the Merchant Marine. Concurrently, as president of Nautech Maritime Corporation, he introduced the NC-2 Navigation computer to the military, and served as a civilian member of the Naval Academy's Navigation Symposium Board, 1975-78. Joel also served as an editor of Bowiditch - NAV PUB 9, 1977 Edition. From NOV, 1978 thru JUN 1984, he served as managing director of Antilles Seatransport.

AVIATION BACKGROUND: In 1969, After ten years of flying, and Flight Operations Management, Joel and his partner joined forces with eleven members of the Appleton, WI, community, all WWII military aviators, to found AIR WISCONSIN.. "Air Wille" as it was affectionately known, grew to be a certificated air carrier with a route structure from Omaha, NE to the West, New York, Laguardia on the East, and Indianapolis, IN, to the South. Its stock was traded on the NASDAQ. Captain Jacobs served as an officer, director, and member of its executive committee from 1969 through 1979. Later Air Wisconsin was acquired by United Airlines in a cash transaction.

NAVAL MEMBERSHIPS: Joel is a life member of the U.S. Naval Institute, Navy League of the U.S., and the Association of Naval Aviation of which he was the founding commanding officer, and first president of McCampbell's Aces. He belongs to the Naval Order of the U.S. As a member of the Naval Academy Sailing Squadron, he was active as a varsity offshore sailing coach in the Summers. In 1997, Captain Jacobs headed the NASS side of P-100. In 1999, he lead the Sailing Squadron's fund raising Campaign in the South East for re-habilitating the Robert Crown Center.
Jacobs is proud he was designated an Honorary Airedale in the mid-'60's by CNATRA, and in 1998, an honorary member of the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1959. Other memberships include the Tailhook Association, and the Silver Wings Fraternity.
His writings, mainly on marine technical topics, have been published in hardcover and magazines.

IN THE SUMMER, he resides with his wife of 30 years, Julie, in Annapolis, MD. The Jacobs cruise back and forth on their boat with the Seasons. Captain Jacobs spends much of his time at the Naval Academy while in Annapolis. The remainder of the year, they reside in Jupiter, FL.


USCG Photo, 1983


USNA, 1997


Joel & his Mom, Dinner Key, 1936