Naval association badge

Naval Association of Australia
Nepean Blue Mountains Sub-Section

-
- Home - Back to Shipmates - Diary - Naval and Maritime Museum -

John Gunn  17 April 2017


1. WITH SADNESS, I INFORM YOU OF THE DEATH OF WORLD WAR TWO VETERAN LIEUTENANT JOHN GUNN, AGED 91

2. LIEUTENANT JOHN GUNN WAS BORN IN ENGLAND AND MIGRATED TO AUSTRALIA, JOINING THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVAL COLLEGE (RANC) AS A CADET MIDSHIPMAN IN 1939, AGED 14.  HE GRADUATED IN AUGUST 1942 WITH MAXIMUM TIME GAINED AND WAS PROMOTED TO MIDSHIPMAN ON 1 SEPTEMBER 1942

3. AFTER COMPLETING RANC, GUNN'S MIDSHIPMAN AND SUB-LIEUTENANT TRAINING WAS HIGHLIGHTED BY CONSISTENT 1ST CLASS PASSES IN ALMOST ALL SUBJECTS, LEADING TO THE AWARD OF HIS BRIDGE WATCHKEEPING CERTIFICATE IN FEBRUARY 1945

4. HIS WARTIME SERVICE INCLUDED POSTINGS IN HMA SHIPS AUSTRALIA (II) AND WARRAMUNGA (I), AND HMS MALCOLM.  DURING THIS TIME HE WAS INVOLVED IN SUPPORTING THE LANDINGS AT CAPE GLOUCESTER WITH NAVAL GUNFIRE SUPPORT, AND SERVED AS THE NAVIGATOR OF MALCOLM IN THE MEDITERRANEAN AND ATLANTIC

5. COMPLETING PILOT TRAINING IN THE UK IMMEDIATELY AFTER WORLD WAR TWO, HE JOINED THE 20TH CAG AND FLEW FAIREY  FIREFLY  AIRCRAFT WITH 816 SQUADRON ONBOARD HMAS SYDNEY DURING 1948-49.  ON 17 MARCH 1949 ANOTHER AIRCRAFT CRASHED ON HMAS SYDNEY'S FLIGHT DECK, JUMPED THE SAFETY BARRIER AND LANDED ON LIEUTENANT GUNN'S PLANE. LIEUTENANT GUNN WAS STILL IN HIS COCKPIT HAVING JUST LANDED

6. LIEUTENANT GUNN COMPLETED HIS CAREER IN THE RAN IN 1950 AND HE COMMENCED STUDYING MEDICINE AT SYDNEY UNIVERSITY.  WHILST STUDYING HE MET HIS WIFE, BARBARA, AND THEY RETURNED TO ENGLAND WHERE HE WORKED FOR ROLLS ROYCE BEFORE BECOMING AN AUTHOR AND PLAYWRIGHT

7. IN 1957, LIEUTENANT GUNN RETURNED TO AUSTRALIA WITH HIS FAMILY AND HE CONTINUED HIS WORK IN THE ARTS BEING AWARDED THE 1959 CHILDREN'S BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD FOR SEA MENACE, AND BECOMING A TELEVISION CHILDREN'S PROGRAM PRESENTER ON THE ABC

8. IN ADDITION TO HIS WORK IN THE ARTS HE BUILT HIS OWN 35-FOOT TRIMARAN, OBTAINED A COMMERCIAL PILOT'S LICENCE, AND WAS THE AVIATION CORRESPONDENT FOR THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW

9. ON BEHALF OF THE NAVY, I EXTEND SINCERE CONDOLENCES TO JOHN'S WIFE BARBARA AND THEIR SIX CHILDREN.