We regret to have to report that John Gunning, Commander Sultan of Oman's Navy (now Royal Navy of Oman) 1980-85, passed away on 6th March 2023. He died at home with his wife Jane and his two daughters beside him.
John’s life was the Royal Navy. He joined Dartmouth as a 13 year-old boy in 1946. His early career in naval aviation saw him well acquainted with the Wessex helicopter, with 814 Sqn becoming his first major command appointment in 1967. Subsequently commanding HMS Wiston (a Ton-class minesweeper) and F60, HMS Jupiter, (a Leander-class frigate) he saw much of the Gulf on what was the forerunner of the Armilla Patrol of the 1990s.
Sea time was followed by various staff appointments at Flag Officer Carriers and Amphibious Ships and the Directorate of Naval Air Warfare throughout the 1970s. John needed very little convincing to escape from London and MoD and, in 1980, he took up the appointment of Commander, the Sultan of Oman’s Navy (as was its title then). He was hugely respected as CSON and held the role for five years before retiring from the Royal Navy.
COSSAF wrote to John’s family paying tribute to his significant contribution to the Royal Navy of Oman at its early stages, and remembering him as a close friend.