Advice has been received that CDRE David Orr, RAN Ret’d,  passed away on the evening of 14 June 2017 after long term health issues. 

Commodore David James Orr was born in Perth in 1931 and joined the RAN in May 1952. After completing his initial training at HMAS Cerberus he undertook pilot training with the RAAF at Archerfield QLD, Uranquinty NSW and Point Cook VIC.  He proceeded to the United Kingdom in October 1953 for further flying training with the Royal Navy. Upon his return he joined 817 Squadron flying Fairey ‘Firefly’ aircraft at HMAS Albatross and in HMAS Sydney during 1954-55

After serving with 723 and 725 Squadrons at Albatross, he completed a Fairey ‘Gannet’ conversion in 1957 and then undertook helicopter training in 723 squadron during 1958.  He proceeded to the UK again in 1958 for the RAF Qualified Helicopter Instructors’ course and was appointed as 723 Squadron Senior Pilot in 1960. 

During 1961 and 1962 he served in HMA ships Queenborough and Vampire for OOW training before returning to fly Westland ‘Wessex’ helicopters with 817 squadron.

From September 1964  he commanded 723 and 817 Squadrons until January 1966, which included deployments in HMAS Melbourne.

CMDR Orr was appointed the senior officer Minesweeper Squadron 16 and Commanding Officer of HMAS Snipe in late August of 1966.  Postings in administrative and training positions followed until May 1970 when he was appointed commander air at HMAS Albatross.

CDRE Orr’s senior officer appointments included HMAS Waterhen and Commander Australian Mine Warfare and Patrol Forces; Sea King helicopter project director; CO HMAS Stalwart and CO HMAS Stirling/NOC WA. He ceased full-time service in July 1985.

After a distinguished naval career covering 33 years he was appointed Executive Officer of the official corruption commission in WA in 1989 and subsequently appointed as a member of the WA anti-corruption commission in 1996.

His funeral will be held on Thursday 22 June 2017, commencing at 1000 at West Chapel at Fremantle Cemetery.