Rear Admiral John Davidson

John Davidson was born on 20 August 1924 in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia and joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1943, graduating as a midshipman in the same year. He trained as a supply officer and saw service in Royal Navy ships in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, North Sea and in Southeast Asia.

While on exchange service with the Royal Australian Navy, during 1951-54, he served on the staff of the Flag Officer Commanding the Australian Fleet at sea in HMAS Sydney and HMAS Australia. In April 1956 Lieutenant Commander John Davidson transferred to the Royal Australian Navy. He was the Deputy Supply Officer at HMAS Albatross during 1956-58 and Supply Officer at the Royal Australian Naval College (1958-60). Davidson was promoted commander in June 1960.

His next appointment was as secretary to the Chief of Naval Technical Services from January 1960 to November 1962 in Navy Office. Following this he was appointed as Secretary to the Flag Officer Commanding the Australian Fleet (Rear Admiral Alan McNicoll, CBE, GM, RAN) during November 1962 to January 1964. When McNicoll was appointed Flag Officer Commanding East Australia Area, in 1964, Davidson continued as his secretary and the following year when McNicoll was appointed as the First Naval Member (Chief of Naval Staff) Davidson was promoted acting captain and remained as McNicoll's secretary until April 1968.

Following McNicoll's retirement Captain Davidson served as Director Administrative Planning (April 1968 to September 1969) before being appointed as Chief Staff Officer Administration and Command Supply Officer on the staff of the Flag Officer Commanding East Australia Area (September 1969 to January 1970). He attended the Imperial Defence College, London during 1970 and on return to Australia, in 1971, was appointed to Navy Office on special duties as the Naval Consultant to the Kerr Committee of Inquiry into Services Pay (1971-72).

In January 1973 Davidson was appointed Chief Staff Officer Administration and Fleet Supply Officer on the staff of the Flag Officer Commanding the Australian Fleet. In early 1975 he was promoted commodore and became Chief of Naval Supply and Works and the following year was appointed Director General of Logistics - Navy.

He was promoted rear admiral on 5 April 1977 and appointed as Flag Officer Commanding East Australian Area the following day; a position he held until October 1979.

Rear Admiral Davidson during his appointment as Flag Officer Commanding the East Australian Area.

Rear Admiral Davidson during his appointment as Flag Officer Commanding the East Australian Area.

His final appointment was as the Head of Australian Defence Staff - Washington and Defence Representative Canada from October 1979 until January 1982. On 9 June 1980, Davidson was appointed as an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in recognition of his service to the RAN.

Following a long and rewarding career in two navies, Rear Admiral Davidson retired from the RAN in April 1982.