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 College. 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.