Chief of Naval Staff # 11

Rear Admiral John O’Connell Ross, C.B., C.B.E. RNZN – CNS October 1965 – June
1969 Royal New Zealand Navy – Chief of Naval Staff & First Naval Member
John Ross was born in Port Chalmers in 1916. As a public servant he joined the
Canterbury Division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1936 and was
commissioned two years later. He was mobilised on the outbreak of the Second
World War and sent for extended officer and anti-submarine training before being
posted as executive officer to HMS Wakakura in 1941. In 1942, serving as a
lieutenant in HMNZS Matai, he took part in the Solomon’s Campaign. In 1944 he was
sent to the United Kingdom for advanced training before returning to New Zealand in
1946 as a gunnery specialist and being offered a permanent commission in the Royal
New Zealand Navy that year. He served on HMNZS Tutira in Korean waters in 1951
and, after several staff positions, he served as executive officer on the cruisers
HMNZS’ Black Prince, Bellona and Royalist, which he later commanded.He also
served on exchange with the Royal Navy, including attending the Imperial Defence

Serving three years as Naval Attache in London, he then became Commodore Auckland. From 1965 to 1969 he was Chief of Naval Staff and First Member of the New Zealand Naval Board. He was created a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE), and, after his retirement, a Commander of the Order of the Bath (CB). He was a prolific author on New Zealand maritime issues. His major works include: The White Ensign in New Zealand, and This Stern Coast. Admiral Ross died in 1983.
(Another ‘Rocky’ who made it to the top! – Ed)

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