John enlisted in the Citizens Military Forces (Reserves) and was posted to 22nd Light Horse Regiment 12 Nov 1929 with Service No 253523 and was promoted Captain on 18 Nov 1936, Temporary Major on 24 Oct 1939. He transferred to 4/40th Battalion on 30 Jul 1940 and transferred to the A.I.F. on 13 Aug 1940 and given the rank of Captain. He was promoted to Major on 2 Aug 1941 and embarked for Timor aboard "ZEALANDIA" on 8 Dec 1941, joining the 2/2nd as a Major on Timor after the fall of Koepang approx. Mar 1942. He returned to Australia on 19 Aug 1942 and was posted to 22nd Australian Motor Regiment on 1 Oct 1942 then to 6th Australian Armoured Brigade on 23 Jun 1943 and then to 26th Australian Motor Regiment on 20 Jul 1943. Attended Land Head Quarters School of Mechanical 2/2 Motor Wing Course for senior Offrs from 5 Mar to 18 Mar 1944.
He was posted as Officer Commanding, No 38 Australian Workshop Company on 20 Aug 1944. He flew to New Guinea on 12 Oct 1944 and embarked for Bougainville aboard "JOHN LYKES" on 7 Nov 1944. He returned to Australia aboard "GORGON" on 1 Aug 1945 and placed on the Reserve of Officers List on 19 Dec 1945.
John was awarded a George the fifth Efficiency Decoration (this is a Reserve Offrs Long Service Medal) under Commonwealth of Australia Gazette; 215/3201/46.
He was entitled to the 1939-45 Star, Pacific Star, Defence Medal, War Medal and Australian Service Medal 1939-45, pictured below.