Commodore John Charles Keith Dowding CBE,DSO,RD,RNR                                                 /back

courtesy of






JU88's attack Convoy PQ17
Painting by Robert Bailey

From 1919 John Dowding worked for the Orient Line, being promoted to Staff Captain in 1936.

At the start of WW2 John Dowding was a Commander RNR with a seniority date of 30.6.33. He was in command of HMS 'Mona's Isle' an Auxiliary Armed Boarding Vessel and was awarded a DSO for services at Dunkirk. He was promoted to Captain RNR 31.12.40 and in 1942 with the temporary rank of Commodore 2nd Class RNR and was the Commodore of Convoy PQ17 for which he was awarded the CBE.

In 1944, on the Staff of Commander in Chief Allied Navies, Expeditionary Force (Sir Bertram Ramsey), Commodore Dowding was the Principal Sea Transport Officer for Operation Neptune and Overlord (the D-Day landings).

He kept the temporary rank until 1946 when  he retired as Commodore RNR.

At Normandy John Dowdy is listed as a Staff Officer to the Flag Officer Assault Area and in the Navy List July 1945. He is listed as Captain RNR (Commodore 2nd Class) (Acting) and is in the Sea Transport Department List as Principal Sea Transport Officer for the British Army of Occupied Germany.

In addition to the CBE and DSO he was awarded the RNR Decoration, Mentioned in Dispatches and was a member of The Order Of the Crown of Belgium.

Convoy PQ 17 which Commodore Dowding commanded. courtesy of
The PWSTS is grateful for the above information which is courtesy of both Alex A (Sandy) Christie and Mackenzie Gregory.

It is believed that he was a Commanding Officer at the PWSTS at Ingham Old Hall sometime between 1945 - 1949.