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John Alliston D.S.O.


Commander John Alliston D.S.O.

John Alliston's book, 'Destroyer Man' (Click for a larger view in a new window) (11525 bytes)

After leaving Dartmouth, in 1927, John Allison began his naval career in HMS Repulse, followed by spells in Verity & Basilisk on the China Station & in Emerald on the East Indies station. After joining Kandahar in 1939, Alliston saw action in the North Sea and the Mediterranean where she took part in the capture of the Italian submarine Galileo Galilie. After a period in the Red Sea, Kandahar became heavily involved in the defence of Crete. In June 1941 Allison was given command of the destroyer Decoy which took part in the Syrian campaign, the Tobruk run, & the siege of Malta. After short spells in command of Foxhound and Janus , he took over Javelin which saw a great deal of action in the Mediterranean. In 1943 joined the cruiser Shropshire, before commanding successively the Australian Tribal class destroyer Warramunga and the British destroyer Urania, a member of the British Pacific Fleet.

John Alliston's modest yet evocative account of naval warfare reveals his deep and passionate love of destroyers, their lean, elegant lines and enormous power. The camaraderie of shipboard living, the old-fashioned virtues of duty, courage. loyalty and perseverance, and the time-honoured crafts of seamanship are here brought to life.

John Alliston's twenty-two years of distinguished service began in 1927 as a naval cadet with the Royal Navy. He took command of his first ship, H.M.S. Decoy. in June 1941 and was later awarded a D.S.O. for his work, as Commander of H.M.A.S. Warramunga, in the Philippines campaign.

During World War II Commander Alliston saw action in and around the Red Sea, the Mediterranean and the Pacific, playing an important role in the last of the world's great naval battles. The rigours and ordeals of war are mellowed by the many moving and enthralling experiences which John Alliston's naval career offered him and which he has captured so well in this fine autobiography - Destroyer Man. 

Commander John M. Alliston was born before the first World War in 1910 in England and educated at the Royal Naval College Dartmouth. In 1927. at the age of seventeen. he was appointed a naval cadet with the Royal Navy. Commander Alliston served on the China and East Indies stations during the pre-war years and saw active service in the Red Sea, the Mediterranean and the Pacific during World War II. He achieved a principal ambition in 1941 when he became a destroyer commander and later gained a D.S.O. for his role in the Philippines campaign as Commander of H.M.A.S. Warramunga.

John Alliston wrote the book DESTROYER MAN
The first edition was printed in 1985 published by Greenhouse Publications Pty Limited. Richmond, Victoria, Australia
The chapters are:
1 A Fledgling Acquires Web Feet H.M.S. Repulse
2 'Pax Britannica' on the China Coast H.M.S. Verity
3 From China via Australia to the Mediterranean H.M.S. Basilisk
4 Adventure H.M.S. Emerald
5 A Spell Ashore
6 Towards War H.M.S. Kandahar
7 Skirmishes in the Red Sea
8 Defeat in the Kithera Strait
9 H.M.S. Decoy and the Syrian Campaign
10 H.M.S. Decoy and the Tobruk Run
11 The Case of the Captured Stuka
12 H.M.S. Decoy and the Siege of Malta
13 H.M.S. Janus
14 H.M.S. Javelin in the Mediterranean
15 Homeward Bound
16 H.M.A.S. Shropshire in the Pacific
17 H.M.A.S. Warramunga, the Beautiful
18 The Approach to Lingayen Gulf January 1945
19 The Salvage of U.S.S. Brooks
20 Corregidor to Adelaide
21 The End of the War H.M.S. Urania
22 Germ Warfare for Beginners 

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Andy Wade (Webmaster)

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