John Mihalowski enlisted in the Navy from his home state of Massachusetts in December 1927, rising to the rank of Chief Torpedoman during the next decade. While serving in the Falcon, he played an important role in the rescue of survivors of United States Ship Sailfish (Steamship-192) and the subsequent salvage of that submarine in 1939. The four men were presented with their medals during a ceremony at the Navy Department offices on January 19, 1940.
In 1942, Mihalowski was appointed a warrant officer and became a commissioned officer later in World World War World War II He participated in rescue and salvage operations on six tank landing ships that had exploded in Pearl Harbor in 1944, and, while executive officer of United States Ship Shackle (ARS-9), on damaged ships during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945.
Following the war, he took part in the harbor clearance in Japan and in salvage efforts during the 1946 Operation Crossroads atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll. He was executive officer of the salvage lifting vessel United States Ship Gypsy (ARSD-1) from 1947 to 1948, before transferring to the Fleet Reserve in January 1948.
Recalled to active duty in September 1950 as a Chief Torpedoman, Mihalowski was reinstated as a Lieutenant the following year. He was assigned to the Naval Gun Factory, Washington, District of Columbia, in 1952 and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in February 1954.
LCdr. John Mihalowski retired from active naval service in about 1958.
Mihalowski died around age 82 or 83 and was buried in Serenity Gardens Memorial Park, Largo, Florida.