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Commodore Bruce Loxton
Born (1924-03-31)31 March 1924
Enmore, New South Wales
Died 7 September 2006(2006-09-07)
Sydney, New South Wales
Nationality Australian
Education Newington College
The Scots College
Royal Australian Naval College
Occupation Naval Officer
Spouse(s) 1945 Dahlis née Robertson
Children 1 son, 2 daughters
Parents Dr E H Loxton

Bruce Hamilton Loxton (31 March 1924 – 7 September 2006) was an Australian naval officer, naval historian, and Director-General of Naval Manpower in the Royal Australian Navy from 1975 until his retirement.[1]

Early life[edit | edit source]

Loxton was born in Sydney and educated at Newington College (1933–1935) [2] and the The Scots College (1936).[1]

Military education[edit | edit source]

At the age of 13, Loxton entered the Royal Australian Naval College (RANC) as one of only 16 candidates selected from 480 applicants.[3] He graduated from RANC in 1941, and was made a Lieutenant in 1944.[1] He later graduated from the Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island (1960), and the Royal Naval Staff College, Greenwich, (1961).[1]

HMAS Canberra[edit | edit source]

Loxton was 18 and a midshipman on the ship's bridge of HMAS Canberra when it was sunk at the Battle of Savo Island. During the attack, a shell struck him and he was badly wounded. In all, 84 Australian personnel died on Canberra. On their return to Sydney, Rear Admiral Gerard Muirhead-Gould, the officer in charge of the Sydney naval area, told the crew of Canberra that they should feel ashamed that their ship had been sunk by gunfire without firing a shot in return. This annoyed Loxton for many years after the war, and he later set out to establish what had in fact happened. In 1994 he co-authored the book, Shame of Savo, analysing the strategy, operations, communications, tactics and command of the attack. He claimed that the American destroyer USS Bagley inadvertently torpedoed Canberra, crippling her through friendly fire before she could fire a shot.[3]

Military service[edit | edit source]

Books authored[edit | edit source]

  • Loxton, Bruce; Coulthard-Clark, Chris (1997). The Shame of Savo: Anatomy of a Naval Disaster. St. Leonards, New South Wales, Australia: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86448-286-9. 
  • Loxton, Bruce (1976). Soviet Maritime Expansion and its implications. 

Honours[edit | edit source]

  • National Medal 1st Clasp - 1977 for diligent long service to the community in hazardous circumstances, including in times of emergency and national disaster, in direct protection of life and property.[4]
  • National Medal 2nd Clasp - 1978 for diligent long service to the community in hazardous circumstances, including in times of emergency and national disaster, in direct protection of life and property.[5]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Who's Who in Australia (Herald and Weekly Times Melb, 1977) pp 683: Loxton, Bruce Hamilton (1924 - )
  2. Newington College Register of Past Students 1863-1998 (Syd, 1999) pp 121
  3. 3.0 3.1 Loxton, Diccon (2006-11-24). "Many a battle tale to tell, Bruce Loxton (1924-2006)". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. http://www.smh.com.au/news/obituaries/many-a-battle-tale-to-tell/2006/11/23/1163871543703.html. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  4. "It's an Honour". Australian Government. http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/honours/honour_roll/search.cfm?aus_award_id=966192&search_type=quick&showInd=true. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  5. "It's an Honour". Australian Government. http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/honours/honour_roll/search.cfm?aus_award_id=966185&search_type=quick&showInd=true. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 

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