Robert Don Oliver DSC, RN

Born  17 Mar 1895Linton, Scotland
Died  6 Oct 1980(85)Kelso, Scotland

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15 Sep 1912 Mid.
15 Sep 1914 A/S.Lt.
15 Mar 1915 S.Lt.
15 Oct 1916 Lt.
15 Apr 1924 Lt.Cdr.
31 Dec 1929 Cdr.
31 Dec 1935 Capt.
2 Jan 1945 Rear-Admiral
26 Sep 1948 Vice-Admiral (retired)

Retired: 26 Sep 1948


10 Apr 1918 DSC
11 Jun 1942 CBE
25 Aug 1942 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
1 Jan 1948 CB

Warship Commands listed for Robert Don Oliver, RN

HMS Devonshire (39)Capt.Heavy cruiser23 Oct 19401 Nov 1942
HMS Swiftsure (08)Capt.Light cruiser22 Mar 1944Dec 1944

Career information

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Events related to this officer

Heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (39)

23 Jul 1941
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) sailed from Scapa Flow escorting the carriers Victorious and Furious in a raid against Petsamo and Kirkenes.

5 Aug 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Around 1830B/5, HMS Victorious (Capt. H.C. Bovell, RN), HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN), HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, DSO, RN), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, DSO, RN) and HMS Escapade (Lt.Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN) arrived at Seidisfjord from operation EF.

They departed Seidísfjord around 1500B/6 for Scapa Flow where they arrived around 2300B/7. (1)

2 Nov 1941
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) was flying the flag of the Senior Officer when an entire Vichy French convoy was captured east of the Cape of Good Hope.

21 Nov 1941 (position -4.12, -18.42)
On the way home after 622 days of patrol, the German raider Atlantis (Capt. Bernard Rogge) met German U-boat U-126 to refuel her north of Ascension Island. During that operation, a lookout reported a warship that turned out to be the British heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) that arrived due to intelligence report on the rendezvous. Devonshire fired from 17000 feet, out of range from German guns. The second and third salvoes hit the German raider, her magazine exploded and Atlantis sank quickly in position 04°12'S, 18°42'W. As U-126 submerged, Dorsetshire made off at high speed, leaving it to German U-boat to pick up the survivors. (2)

Apr 1942
HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) took part in Operation "Ironclad", the British attack on Madagascar. She did not have a chance to engage since the carrier planes did all the damage.


  1. ADM 53/114101 + ADM 53/115156
  2. Personal communication

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.

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