John Eaton (Royal Navy officer)

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Sir John William Musgrave Eaton
Born (1902-11-03)3 November 1902
Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia
Died 21 July 1981(1981-07-21) (aged 78)
Kelvedon, Essex
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Navy
Years of service 1916–1958
Rank Vice Admiral
Commands held America and West Indies Station (1955–56)
Reserve Fleet (1954–55)
HM Australian Fleet (1951–53)
HMS St Vincent (1945–47)
HMS Sheffield (1945)
HMS Eskimo (1942–43)
HMS Somali (1942)
HMS Mohawk (1939–41)
HMS Venetia (1939)
HMS Boreas (1936–39)
HMS Westminster (1935–36)
Battles/wars First World War
Second World War
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
Distinguished Service Cross
Mentioned in Despatches (2)

Vice Admiral Sir John William Musgrave Eaton, KBE, CB, DSO, DSC (3 November 1902 – 21 July 1981) was a Royal Navy officer who served as Commander-in-Chief America and West Indies Station from 1955 to 1956.

Naval career[edit]

Eaton joined the Royal Navy in 1916 and served in the First World War.[1] After the war he served in destroyers and then in submarines.[1]

Eaton served in the Second World War and commanded the destroyers HMS Venetia, HMS Mohawk, HMS Somali and HMS Eskimo.[1]

After the war he became Captain of the cruiser HMS Sheffield and then Captain of the training school HMS St Vincent.[1] He was appointed Director at the Royal Navy Staff College, Greenwich in 1949, Flag Officer commanding HM Australian Fleet in 1951 and Flag Officer commanding the Reserve Fleet in 1954.[1] His last appointment was as Commander-in-Chief, America and West Indies Station and Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic in 1955; he took part in Operation Strikeback (a major NATO training exercise) in 1957 and retired in 1958.[1]

His life is commemorated by an inscription at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Kelvedon in Essex.[2]


Military offices
Preceded by
Sir John Stevens
Commander-in-Chief, America and West Indies Station
Succeeded by
Sir Wilfrid Woods
as Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic
Preceded by
Sir Ian Campbell
Commander-in-Chief, Reserve Fleet
Succeeded by
Sir Peter Cazalet
Preceded by
John Eccles
Flag Officer Commanding HM Australian Fleet
Succeeded by
Roy Dowling