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The Papers of Rear-Admiral Clarence Howard-Johnston

Reference Code: GBR/0014/HWJN

Scope and Contents

Copies of letters by Howard-Johnston describing his wartime service, including his work as Director of the Anti-U-Boat Division, and as captain of HMS Bermuda, with the British Pacific Fleet (1947). Subjects include: Cabinet Anti-U-Boat meetings; difficulties with the lack of understanding at the Admiralty of anti-U-Boat operations; German success in evading Asdic; service with Admiral Sir Denis Boyd [Commander-in-Chief, British Pacific Fleet].


  • Creation: 1947-02 - 1980-02


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Biographical / Historical

Clarence Howard-Johnston was born on 13 October 1903; he was educated at the Royal Naval Colleges, Osborne [Isle of Wight] and Dartmouth [Devon]. In 1955 he married Paulette, daughter of Paul Helleu.

Howard-Johnston's naval service included: Midshipman (1921); Commander (1937); Director of Studies, Greek Naval War College, Athens (1938-40); Naval staff, anti-submarine Warfare Division, Admiralty (1940); detached to set up anti-submarine training, Quiberon [France] (1940), and commanded operations for destruction of port facilities at St Malo, and the evacuation of British troops from St Malo and Jersey (for which he was mentioned in despatches); anti-submarine operations in the Norwegian fjords, and the evacuation of troops and wounded from the Norway Campaign at Molde and Andalsnes (for which he was awarded the DSC); in command of an anti-submarine escort group in the North Atlantic (1941-42), escorting 1,229 ships (and being awarded the DSO for sinking the submarine U651); serving on the staff for the Battle of Atlantic Command, Liverpool, (1942-43); Captain (1943); Director of the Anti-U-boat Division, Admiralty (1943-45), during which time Howard-Johnston was anti-submarine specialist at the Prime Minister's Cabinet U-boat meetings; in command of HMS Bermuda, British Pacific Fleet and occupation of Japan forces (1946-47); Naval Attaché, Paris (1947-50); Naval aide to the Queen (1952); Rear-Admiral (1953); Chief of Staff to Flag Officer, Central Europe (1953-55); retired, 1955 (being awarded the CB).

Howard-Johnston was also an inventor of simple hydraulic mechanisms, and was commended by the Admiralty for the invention and development of anti-submarine training devices including the Johnston Mobile A/S target, in 1937. He died on 26 January 1996.


1 file(s)

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Other Finding Aids

A copy of this finding aid is available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge and the National Register of Archives, London.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were given to Churchill Archives Centre by Admiral Howard-Johnston in 1980.


This catalogue was prepared by Katharine Thomson of Churchill Archives Centre in June 2003. Biographical information was obtained from Who Was Who 1897-1996 (A and C Black).


Howard-Johnston, Clarence


2003-06-02 11:46:09+00:00
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Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 336087