David Luce

David Luce
John David Luce
Admiral Sir David Luce
Crown Copyright
Born 23 January 1906(1906-01-23)
Malmesbury, Wiltshire
Died 6 January 1971(1971-01-06) (aged 64)
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Years of service 1919 - 1966
Rank Admiral
Commands held HMS Liverpool
HMS Birmingham
Flotillas for the Home Fleet
Scotland and Northern Ireland
Far East Fleet

World War II

Korean War

Cold War
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath;
Distinguished Service Order & Bar;
Officer of the Order of the British Empire;
Mention in Despatches;
Order of Aviz;
Order of Al-Rafidhain, Third Class (Iraq)

Admiral Sir John David Luce GCB, DSO & Bar, OBE (23 January 1906 – 6 January 1971) was First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy.

Naval career

David Luce joined the Royal Navy in 1919 and chose to become a submariner.[1]

He commanded the submarines HMS H44 during 1936, Dieppe Raid for which he won an OBE and in 1944 he was appointed Chief Staff Officer to the Naval Forces for the D-Day landings where he won a bar to his DSO.[2]

He was appointed Deputy Director of Plans at the Admiralty in 1948.[1] He then went on the command the cruisers HMS Liverpool and HMS Birmingham from 1951 and 1952 respectively and then became Naval Secretary in 1954.[1] In 1956 he was appointed Flag Officer, Flotillas for the Home Fleet and in 1958 went on to become Flag Officer, Scotland and Northern Ireland.[1]

In 1960 he was appointed Commander-in-chief, Far East Fleet[3] and then served as First Sea Lord from 1963 to 1966 when he resigned from the Royal Navy along with Navy Minister Christopher Mayhew in protest over the decision by the Labour Secretary of State for Defence, Denis Healey, to cancel the CVA-01 aircraft carrier programme.[4]

Later career

In retirement he became President of the Royal Naval Association.[2]


Military offices
Preceded by
Richard Onslow
Naval Secretary
Succeeded by
Alastair Ewing
Preceded by
Sir John Cuthbert
Flag Officer, Scotland and Northern Ireland
Succeeded by
Sir Royston Wright
Preceded by
Sir Gerald Gladstone
Commander-in-Chief, Far East Fleet
Succeeded by
Sir Desmond Dreyer
Preceded by
Sir Caspar John
First Sea Lord
Succeeded by
Sir Varyl Begg

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