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Commanding Officer PEGASUS: 1953 - 1961

Captain J. N. (Jack) Allan, CBE, VRD*, RNZNVR

Captain J.N (Jack) Allan, CBE, VRD*, RNZNVR


Captain John Neat Allan was born in Dunedin on the 26 December 1911.   He was educated at Kaikorai Primary School, Dunedin, and at Otago Boys’ High School (1925-29).


Captain Allan joined the Otago Division of the RNVR as an Ordinary Seaman in April 1930, and was commissioned in the rank of Sub Lieutenant in March 1934.   The following three years saw sea training in HM Ships DUNEDIN, WELLINGTON and ACHILLES before being promoted to Lieutenant in March 1937.


On mobilisation, the then Lieutenant Allan was appointed Assistant naval Intelligence Officer, Dunedin and for training duties, attached to the RNVR Headquarters in Dunedin.   He remained in this role until posted to HMS MONOWAI where he served until 11 November 1941 when he was transferred to HMNZS RATA as Executive Officer.   On 30 March 1942 He was appointed Commanding Officer of HMNZS MANUKA, the first of the composite minesweepers to be built in New Zealand.  He retained this command until November 1943 when he was posted overseas.  


Arriving in Liverpool in the transport HMT Stirling Castle, he was sent on various training courses until June 1944 when he was posted to HMS DUNBAR, a Bangor Class Sweeper, which was attached to the North Sea and Channel Invasion Forces.


His next posting was to the Royal Indian Navy. He arrived in Bombay on 16 August 1944 and joined HMIS FEROZE.   He later transferred to HMIS HOOGHLY and was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in November 1945. He remained in this appointment until discharged from active service Physically Unfit for Naval Service (PUNS) on 19 November 1945.  On the 7 October 1945 he was awarded the Volunteer Reserve Decoration.  


In spite of his medical downgrading on discharge, he was recalled to the Active List on 11 September 1952, and on 12 January 1953 was promoted to Commander RNZNVR and appointed Commanding Officer of HMNZS PEGASUS.  Whilst serving as Commanding Officer he was appointed Honorary Aide-de-Camp to the then Governor-General, His Excellency, Lieutenant General, the Rt Honourable Sir Willoughby Moke Norrie, GCMG, GCVO, CB, DSO, MC, and also appointed  Honorary Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to New Zealand in 1954.


In 1953 he was awarded the Queens Coronation Medal.   In 1956 he was promoted to Captain and also awarded his a Clasp to his Volunteer Reserve Decoration.  In the Queen’s Birthday Honours of 1959 he was honoured by being appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (Military Division).  He finally retired from Naval Service on 30 June 1961.


On leaving school, Jack joined the Commercial Union Assurance Co Ltd, and work for them for the next eight years.  During these years he undertook studies in accountancy on a part-time basis at the Unoversity of Otago, as well as professional studies in Insurance, qualifying both as an Associate Registered Accountant, and an Associate of the Insurance Institute of NZ. In 1937 he left the employment of the Commercial Union, and joined R.S. Stewart as an Accountant and Company Secretary, a position he held until he was mobilised.


Captain Allan died in Christchurch on 16 October 1968.


For his service, he was awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire, the 1939-45 Star, the Pacific Star with Burma Clasp, the France and Germany Star, the Defence Medal, the War Medal, The NZ War Service Medal, Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal, the Volunteer Reserve Decoration and Clasp.
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