John Maurice Mansfield

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Sir John Mansfield
Rear-Admiral Sir John Maurice Mansfield in 1943 © National Portrait Gallery, London
Born22 December 1893
Easthampstead, Berkshire
Died4 February 1949 (Age 56)
Lower Woodford, Wiltshire
AllegianceFlag United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.gif United Kingdom
Service/branchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Years of service1906-1948
RankVice Admiral command Flag RN from 1864.png Vice Admiral
Commands heldHMS Norfolk
HMS Devonshire
Chief of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief, Western Approaches
15th Cruiser Squadron
(U Boats and Trade)
Royal Navy Submarine Service
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
Distinguished Service Cross

Vice-Admiral Sir John Maurice Mansfield KCB, DSO, DSC (22 December 1893 - 4 February 1949) was a Royal Navy officer who went on to become Flag Officer-in-Charge, Ceylon in 1945 and finally Flag Officer, Submarines commanding the Royal Navy Submarine Service in 1946.

Naval career

Educated at the Royal Naval College, Osborne, and the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, Mansfield joined the Royal Navy in 1906. After serving in the First World War. Following the Great War he had risen to the rank of Commander on 30 June 1929. He waqs promoted to Captain on 30 June 1934. In October 1937 he was appointed Commanding Officer, HMS Norfolk (cruiser) and Flag Captain & Chief Staff Officer, Commander-in-Chief, East Indies Station.[1]

On 10 May 1939 he was appointed Commanding Officer, HMS Devonshire (cruiser) and Flag Captain & Chief Staff Officer, Vice-Admiral Commanding, 1st Cruiser Squadron.[2] He saw action during the early stages of Second World War participating in the Norwegian Campaign and evacuating the Norwegian Royal Family and Government officials from Tromsø, Norway on 7 June 1940, two months after Germany had invaded.

Flag Rank

On 17 February 1941 he made a Commodore 2nd Class and appointed Chief of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief, Western Approaches (HMS Eaglet) until January 1943. On 12 January 1943 he was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral. He next assigned for duties at the Admiralty (HMS President) in London from 19 February until December 1943.[3] On 1 January 1944 he was given a seagoing command as Rear-Admiral Commanding, 15th Cruiser Squadron (flag ship HMS Dido),[4] in which role he provided support for the landings at Anzio he remained in this role until 23 March 1945.

After his previous posting he was next assigned a shore command back at the Admiralty (HMS President) and appointed Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (U Boats and Trade) until July 1945.[5] On 20 September 1945 he was sent to Ceylon and appointed Flag Officer-in-Charge, Ceylon (HMS Lanka), whilst in this role he was advanced to rank of Vice-Admiral on 15 September 1946 and remained in charge in Ceylon, and additionally appointed Deputy to Commander-in-Chief, East Indies Fleet until 1 November 1946.[6] In November 1946 he returned to England was appointed Flag Officer, Submarines in November 1946 until August 1948 when he was retired from Royal Navy on health grounds.[7] He died on 4 February 1949 at the relative young age of 56.


  1. Houterman, Hans; Koppes, Jeroen. "Royal Navy (RN) Officers 1939-1945  -  M". Netherlands: Houterman and Koppes. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  2. Houterman and Koppes
  3. Houterman and Koppes
  4. Houterman and Koppes
  5. Houterman and Koppes
  6. Houterman and Koppes
  7. Commons, House of. "Naval Commands and Flag Officers (Hansard, 10 April 1946)". UK Parliament. Retrieved 6 September 2020.