ROSS, John O'Connell, CB, CBE

Display Number:  1305  
Name:  Ross  John O'Connell
Rank:  Rear Admiral Service Number:  
Date Joined:  1936 (Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve) Date Discharged:  1969

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.

 

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Medal Description (Top Left to Bottom Right (Going across)):  
  • The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (Knights Commander) 
  • 1939-1945 Star - Recognises service in the Second World War. It was usually awarded for six months service in special operational areas. Those whose service was shortened by death, injury or capture or who were awarded a decoration or mentioned in despatches also qualified for the medal. Those who served a day or more in specified battles or invasions also qualified for this award. The ribbon has three equal vertical stripes of dark blue (symbolising Navy and Merchant Navy), red (symbolising Army) and light blue (representing Air Force).
  • Atlantic Star - Awarded to personnel who served an additional 6 months in Home (United Kingdom), Atlantic or North Russian waters after first qualifying for the 1939-45 Star. The ribbon is water silk coloured blue, white and green. These colours symbolise service in the Atlantic Ocean, and in UK and North Russian waters.
  • Pacific Star - The Pacific Star was awarded for operational service in the Pacific between 8 December 1941 and 2 September 1945.It was also awarded for certain specified service in China and Malaya (8 December 1941 - 15 February 1942), Hong Kong (8 December 1941 - 25 December 1941) and Sumatra (8 December 1941- 23 March 1942). The Green stripes on the ribbon symbolise the jungle while the central yellow stripe symbolises the beach. The outer red stripes symbolise the Army while the dark blue stripe symbolises the Navy and Merchant Navy and the light blue stripe symbolises the Air Force.
  • The Defence Medal - Awarded to British military and civilian personnel for a range of service in the United Kingdom, and to British, British Commonwealth and British Colonial personnel who served outside their home countries in a non-operational area or in an area subject to threat such as air attack. The centre of the ribbon is flame coloured, and the edges are green, symbols of the enemy attacks on Great Britain. Two black stripes represent the blackout in Great Britain.
  • War Medal - Awarded across the British Commonwealth to all fulltime members of the Armed Force for 28 days service between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945 irrespective of where they were serving. On one side is an effigy of King George VI. On the reverse is a lion trampling on a dragon symbolising the Axis powers. The ribbon is the red, white and blue of the (British) Union Flag.
  • New Zealand War Service Medal - Awarded for 28 days' full time service or six months' part time service in any of the New Zealand Armed Forces, the New Zealand National Military Reserve or the Home Guard between 3 September  1939 and 2 September 1945. Eligible part time Home Guard Personnel must have completed their six months' part time service between 16 August 1940 and 1 January 1944 (the Home Guard was disbanded in December 1943). It was the first distinctively 'New Zealand' war service medal, which was emphasised by the use of the fern leaf motif on the suspender and the reverse of the medallion, and the national colours of black and white on the ribbon.
  • The Korea Medal - Instituted in 1951 to recognise service in the Korean War. It was awarded to all British Commonwealth forces who took part in the war between 2 July 1950 and 27 July 1953.
  • United Nations Medal (Korea) - Awarded for service during the Korean War (1 July 1950 to 27 July 1953) and for service in the first twelve months following the Armistice. It was manufactured in the language of each country that participated in the United Nations force in Korea. The ribbon is a blue background with a series of white stripes across its width. These are the basic colours of the United Nations.
  • General Service Medal 1962 (South Arabia Clasp) - Instituted for award to personnel of all services, and thus did away with the need for seperate Army and Navy general service medals. Awarded for service in minor campaigns and operations since 1962.
  • The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (Commander) - Was established by King George V in June 1917 for services to the British Empire. In December 1918 the Order was split into two divisions: Civil division for civilian recipients; and a military division for distinguished service in action. The insignia of the award from both divisions is identical, distinguished only by their ribbons. The rose-gray ribbon with narrow pearl grey stripes shows it was awarded from 1936 onward under the military division of the award. 

 

  • The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (Knights Commander) (Miniature) - Miniature version of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (Knights Commander) medal
  • Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (Commander) (Miniature) - Miniature version of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (Commander). It was established by King George V in June 1917 for services to the British Empire. In December 1918 the Order was split into two divisions: Civil division for civilian recipients; and a military division for distinguished service in action. The insignia of the award from both divisions is identical, distinguished only by their ribbons. The rose-gray ribbon with narrow pearl grey stripes shows it was awarded from 1936 onward under the military division of the award. 
  • 1939-1945 Star (Miniature) - Miniature version of the 1939-1945 Star. Recognises service in the Second World War. It was usually awarded for six months service in special operational areas. Those whose service was shortened by death, injury or capture or who were awarded a decoration or mentioned in despatches also qualified for the medal. Those who served a day or more in specified battles or invasions also qualified for this award. The ribbon has three equal vertical stripes of dark blue (symbolising Navy and Merchant Navy), red (symbolising Army) and light blue (representing Air Force).
  • Atlantic Star (Miniature) - Miniature version of the Atlantic Star. Awarded to personnel who served an additional 6 months in Home (United Kingdom), Atlantic or North Russian waters after first qualifying for the 1939-45 Star. The ribbon is water silk coloured blue, white and green. These colours symbolise service in the Atlantic Ocean, and in UK and North Russian waters.
  • Pacific Star (Miniature) - Miniature version of the Pacific Star. The Pacific Star was awarded for operational service in the Pacific between 8 December 1941 and 2 September 1945.It was also awarded for certain specified service in China and Malaya (8 December 1941 - 15 February 1942), Hong Kong (8 December 1941 - 25 December 1941) and Sumatra (8 December 1941- 23 March 1942). The Green stripes on the ribbon symbolise the jungle while the central yellow stripe symbolises the beach. The outer red stripes symbolise the Army while the dark blue stripe symbolises the Navy and Merchant Navy and the light blue stripe symbolises the Air Force.
  • The Defence Medal (Miniature) - Miniature version of the Defence Medal. Awarded to British military and civilian personnel for a range of service in the United Kingdom, and to British, British Commonwealth and British Colonial personnel who served outside their home countries in a non-operational area or in an area subject to threat such as air attack. The centre of the ribbon is flame coloured, and the edges are green, symbols of the enemy attacks on Great Britain. Two black stripes represent the blackout in Great Britain.
  • War Medal (Miniature) - Miniature version of the War Medal. Awarded across the British Commonwealth to all fulltime members of the Armed Force for 28 days service between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945 irrespective of where they were serving. On one side is an effigy of King George VI. On the reverse is a lion trampling on a dragon symbolising the Axis powers. The ribbon is the red, white and blue of the (British) Union Flag.
  • New Zealand War Service Medal (Miniature) - Miniature version of the New Zealand War Service Medal. Awarded for 28 days' full time service or six months' part time service in any of the New Zealand Armed Forces, the New Zealand National Military Reserve or the Home Guard between 3 September  1939 and 2 September 1945. Eligible part time Home Guard Personnel must have completed their six months' part time service between 16 August 1940 and 1 January 1944 (the Home Guard was disbanded in December 1943). It was the first distinctively 'New Zealand' war service medal, which was emphasised by the use of the fern leaf motif on the suspender and the reverse of the medallion, and the national colours of black and white on the ribbon.
  • The Korea Medal (Miniature) - Miniature version of the Korea Medal. Instituted in 1951 to recognise service in the Korean War. It was awarded to all British Commonwealth forces who took part in the war between 2 July 1950 and 27 July 1953.
  • United Nations Medal (Korea) (Miniature) - Miniature version of the United Nations Medal (Korea). Awarded for service during the Korean War (1 July 1950 to 27 July 1953) and for service in the first twelve months following the Armistice. It was manufactured in the language of each country that participated in the United Nations force in Korea. The ribbon is a blue background with a series of white stripes across its width. These are the basic colours of the United Nations.
  • General Service Medal 1962 (South Arabia Clasp) (Miniature) - Miniature version of the General Service Medal 1962 with a South Arabia clasp. Instituted for award to personnel of all services, and thus did away with the need for seperate Army and Navy general service medals. Awarded for service in minor campaigns and operations since 1962.
  • Danish Medal -