Aviation visionary laid to rest

This article has photo gallery Published on ABML-C Steven Bruni (author), Unknown (photographer)

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Commodore John Goble (Retired) passed away recently, leaving behind a lifetime of success and achievement. 

Born in Brighton, Victoria and entering the Royal Australian Naval College in 1937 he was then posted to HMAS Canberra I for a short period and later served in HMAS Australia in the Coral Sea and Solomon Islands actions during 1942. 

In 1943 he attended courses in the United Kingdom to qualify for promotion to Lieutenant, and on completion, was posted to a Landing Craft (Assault) Flotilla that took part in the D-Day landing on 6 June 1944.

For this, he was honoured with the French Legion of Honour in November last year. He was then posted to HMS Battler, an escort carrier built in the USA and part of the British Eastern Fleet based at Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.

John was one of the Fleet Air Arm's original aviators being among the first group of Royal Australian Navy officers to qualify as a pilot shortly after the Second World War and served with the Royal Navy until 1948, which included a year in 827 Squadron on board HMS Triumph, a Light Fleet Carrier. 

Commodore Chis Smallhorn, current Commander of the Fleet Air Arm, said the passing of Commodore Goble would leave a mark on the aviation and Navy communities.

“I was saddened to hear of the loss of one of the true legends and visionaries of the Fleet Air Arm.

“Commodore Goble was there at the beginning and I would like to think he would be proud to see what it has become,” he said. 

In 1949 he returned to Australia as a member of 816 Squadron onboard HMAS Sydney and in 1951, he returned to the UK to attend the RAFCentral Flying School. There he served as a Flying Instructor until returning to Australia to become Commanding Officer of the Royal Australian Navy’s 817 Squadron.

In 1969, he Commanded HMAS Vampire, and in 1970, HMAS Stalwart. He then moved to Nowra in Command, which was followed by a year in the Navy’s Trials and Assessment Unit. 

After a six-month period as Commanding Officer of the carrier HMAS Melbourne in the latter half of 1973, he was appointed Chief of Staff to the Fleet Commander for two years.

John retired from the Navy in February 1976 to study for a career in Law from which he retired in 1992.