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Naval Obituaries A collection of notes on those who have crossed the bar.

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Old 26-10-2009, 15:13
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Default Admiral Sir Michael Denny

Admiral Sir Michael Denny

Admiral Sir Michael Denny, GCB CBE, DSO, who was Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet, and Commander-in-Chief, Eastern Atlantic (NATO) (1954-55), died on Friday 7th April 1972. He was 75. Denny was chairman of the British Joint Services Mission, Washington, and United Kingdom Representative on the Standing Committee of NATO Military Committee from 1956 to 1959. From 1959 to 1966 he was chairman of Cammell Laird, and later Consultant. Denny was a distinguished gunnery specialist. He served through out two world wars, in the second of which his work ranged from that of senior naval officer at Aandalsnes during the Norwegian campaign, to the command of an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. He was chief staff officer during the Dunkirk evacuation. After the war his appointments included that of Third Sea Lord during an important period of technical development.

Michael Maynard Denny, born on October 3, 1896, was the son of Canon Edward Denny, MA. He entered Osborne as a naval cadet from Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Wimborne, in 1909. and, four years later, passed out from Dartmouth second of the 65 cadets in his term. Throughout the 1914-18 war he served in the Grand Fleet as Midshipman in the Neptune and Sub-Lieutenant and Lieutenant in the Royal Sovereign. After specialising in gunnery in 1919-20 he was selected for the advanced course, and in 1921 was appointed for experimental duties. This was the first of a series of such appointments; when not at sea he spent all his service until after he became a captain in gunnery experimental work. He was also awarded the Egerton memorial prize for gunnery. Between 1922 and 1930, when he became a commander, he was gunnery officer in the Emperor of India, the Montrose, and 1st Destroyer Flotilla. and the Nelson. He was fleet gunnery officer in the Mediterranean in 1932-34, and then executive officer of the cruiser Shropshire until promoted to captain in 1936. In 1937 he joined the Naval Ordnance Department as Assistant Director, and a year later was made Deputy Director, the post he held when war broke out again in 1939. When the Germans invaded Norway in April, 1940, he was appointed senior naval officer at Aandalsnes, where he served during the landing and withdrawal of the Allied troops. During the Dunkirk evacuation he had charge of what was known as the "Dynamo room " at Dover, which controlled all the movements of shipping engaged in this vast but hastily improvised undertaking. For services in Norway and at Dover he was awarded the CB a rare honour for a junior captain. His next appointment was to the cruiser Kenya. which he commanded as flag captain to Rear-Admiral H. M. Burroughs in the raid on Vaagso in 1941. He saw much other active service in her, including convoys to North Russia and Malta. In 1942-43 he was chief of staff to the Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet, Admiral Tovey, with rank of commodore 1st class, his work there and in the Kenya being recognized by the award of the CBE. In 1943, he took command of the aircraft carrier Victorious, and was in her in the Pacific until the war ended in August, 1945. It was from this carrier that successful air strikes were directed against Okinawa, and Captain Denny was awarded the DSO.

He was promoted to Rear-Admiral in 1945. Denny became Assistant Chief of Naval Personnel and Director of Personal Services. From 1947, to 1949, he was Flag Officer (Destroyers) in the Mediterranean, and was promoted to Vice-Admiral in 1948. In 1949, he joined the Board of Admiralty as Third Sea Lord and Controller of the Navy and held this post for nearly four years, during which he became an admiral in 1952. He was promoted to KCB in 1950. He married in 1923 Sara Annie Esme, daughter of Colonel Loftus Welman. She died last year.

Taken from The Times Archive
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