Peter Phipps DSC, RNZNVR

Born  7 Jun 1909Milton, Otago, New Zealand
Died  18 Sep 1989(80)Marlborough, New Zealand

If you can help with photo or any information on this Officer please
use our comment form


24 Apr 1933 Lt.
24 Mar 1941 Lt.Cdr.
  Vice Admiral


21 Mar 1941 DSC
  Navy Cross

Warship Commands listed for Peter Phipps, RNZNVR

HMS Bay (T 77)Lt.MS Trawler23 Jul 1940late 1941
HMNZS Scarba (T 175)Lt.Cdr.MS Trawler24 Nov 19417 Nov 1942
HMNZS Moa (T 233)Lt.Cdr.MS Trawler 19437 Apr 1943
HMNZS Arabis (K 385)Lt.Cdr.Corvette16 Dec 1944

Career information

Born at Milton, Otago, New Zealand 7 June 1909. Educated Sumner Primary School and Christchurch Boys'High School.Phipps began his military career in 1928 when he joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve as an ordinary seaman. He was commissioned as a sub-lieutenant in 1930 and as a lieutenant in 1934.After HMS Bay commanded HMNZS Scarba, one of four Isles class minesweeping trawlers purchased for New Zealand. Became commanding officer of HMNZS Moa, which, with her sister ship HMNZS Kiwi, sank the Japanese submarine I-1. Both ships were patrolling at Guadalcanal and Kiwi's depth-charge attack brought the submarine to the surface. She attempted to escape but was rammed by Kiwi while Moa continued to illuminate with star shell. Moa pursued and pressed home the attack upon the submarine, which eventually ran aground on a reef. Phipps was awarded a Bar to his DSC and the United States Navy Cross[1] for this action.

First NZ naval officer appointed to the New Zealand Naval Board (1957), the first to reach the rank of Admiral (eventually reaching Rear-Admiral), the first to be appointed to Chief of Naval Staff (1960) and the first Chief of Defence Staff (1963). All information from web site re Sir Peter Phipps.

Events related to this officer

MS Trawler HMNZS Moa (T 233)

21 Jan 1943
HMNZS Moa (Lt. Cmdr. Peter Phipps, RNZN) and her sister ship HMNZS Tui discovered four Japanese landing barges near Guadalcanal. The lead barge opened fire. An accident with one of her guns injured 7 of Moa's crewmen. She then silenced the first barge and sank another. Two barges escaped. (1)

29 Jan 1943
HMNZS Moa (Lt.Cdr. P. Phipps, RNZNVR), along with her sister ship HMNZS Kiwi (Lt.Cdr. G. Bridson, RNZNVR), engaged and sunk the Japanese submarine I-1 at Kamimbo Bay, Guadalcanal. (1)


  1. Personal communication

You can help improve officers Peter Phipps's page
Click here to Submit events/comments/updates for this officer.
Please use this if you spot mistakes or want to improve his page.

Allied Commanders main page