John Wallace Linton VC

Name: John Wallace Linton

Conflict: Second World War

Gazetted: May 25, 1943

Service: Royal Navy

portrait_linton_john wallace
John Wallace Linton VC
Medal group

Place/date of birth: Malpas, near Newport, Monmouthshire (now Gwent)/October 15, 1905

Rank when awarded VC (and later highest rank): Commander

Date of bravery: September 3, 1939 – March 23, 1943

London Gazette citation:

The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the VICTORIA CROSS for valour in command of H.M. Submarines to: Commander John Wallace Linton, D.S.O., D.S.C., Royal Navy.

From the outbreak of War until H.M.S. Turbulent’s last patrol Commander Linton was constantly in command of submarines, and during that time inflicted great damage on the Enemy. He sank one Cruiser, one Destroyer, one U-boat, twenty-eight Supply Ships, some 100,000 tons in all, and destroyed three trains by gun-fire. In his last year he spent two hundred and fifty-four days at sea, submerged for nearly half the time, and his ship was hunted thirteen times and had two hundred and fifty depth charges, aimed at her.

His many and brilliant successes were due to his constant activity and skill, and the daring which never failed him when there was an Enemy to be attacked.

On one occasion, for instance, in H.M.S. Turbulent, he sighted a convoy of two Merchantmen and two Destroyers in mist and moonlight. He worked round ahead of the convoy and dived to attack it as it passed through the moon’s rays. On bringing his sights to bear he found himself right ahead of a Destroyer. Yet he held his course till the Destroyer was almost on top of him, and, when his sights came on the convoy, he fired. His great courage and determination were rewarded. He sank one Merchantman and one Destroyer outright, and set the other Merchantman on fire so that she blew up.

Click here to see full Gazette entry.

Other decorations: DSO, DSC

Place/date of death: Medina Harbour, Italy/March 23, 1943

Grave/memorials: Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire; Newport, Monmouthshire

Origin of VC to the Lord Ashcroft collection: Purchased privately, 1996

Current location of VC: Displayed on rotation at The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes exhibition, Imperial War Museum