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Kellar, John Albert William

Date of birth:
November 1914
British (1801-present, Kingdom)


John Kellar served as Engine Room Artificer on HMS Terror, a 15 inch gun monitor which alrready had seen exstensive action in the First World War.
The Terror operated as part of the Inshore Squadron providing gunfire support to the land forces in the North African campaign during Operation Compass when the British Army was driving the Italians out of Libya. On the 23rd February 1941 after leaving the port of Benghazi she was spotted by a German reconnaissance aircraft. As a result Terror was attacked at 1830 some 90 miles from Tobruk by 5 Ju 88 bombers flying from Cantania. While no direct hits were achieved, there were 3 near misses that caused flooding in several areas of the ship. The crew were taken off at 2200 hrs and she was taken in tow. As the flooding got worse it was realised that she could not be saved. So Kellar was ordered to scuttle the ship.
John Kellar survived the war to be commissioned Lieutenant (Engineer) on 1st April 1945, promoted Lieutenant Commander (Engineer) on 1st April 1953 and retired on the 23rd November 1959.

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Second World War (1939-1945)
Engine Room Artificer Third Class
H.M.S. Terror (I03), Royal Navy
Awarded on:
July 29th, 1941
For courage and devotion to duty when HMS Terror was lost."
The Investiture was held at Buckingham Palace in September 1941 that he attended with his wife and some family members.

Distinguished Service Medal (DSM)
Second World War (1939-1945)
With "NORTH AFRICA 1942-43" clasp.
Africa Star


  • - Third Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 35231 published on the 25 July 1941
    - Warwick & Warwick