Ian St. John
|Ian St. John|
Ian St. John aboard TCS Tiger's Claw 2654
|Place of birth||Brisbane, Australia|
|Service/branch||Terran Confederation Space Force|
|Years of service||2649-2668|
Ian St John, callsign "Hunter", was born in Brisbane in 2627, a stereotypical example of an outback Australian. Ian was known for his addiction to smoking tobacco products, and liked to chew on cigars during combat, believing that it helps prevent the dry mouth from sweating in the cockpit. He had an older brother Dennis St. John, who was a Confederate Marine.
TCS Tiger's Claw
St John took the callsign Hunter and served on the TCS Tiger’s Claw with the rank of captain. He also served on the TCS Gettysburg. He seemed to fly mostly for the adrenaline rather than to fight the Kilrathi, and claimed that Kilrathi had barely touched him on his first combat mission when his ship was covered with burn marks.
On 2654.287, St John and Christopher Blair launch in Rapiers from the Tiger’s Claw to fly a four-point patrol in the Venice system, and find and destroy a Ralari-class destroyer. The next day, they launch again to rendezvous with Rapiers from the TCS Kyoto. Together, they attack and destroy a Fralthi-class cruiser.
Later, St John and Blair fly a three-point patrol, rendezvousing with the Tiger’s Claw at a new location after her re-positioning. Flying once again that day, St John and Blair launch in Rapiers to destroy the Kilrathi High Command in the Venice sector. They succeed in their mission, even destroying a Fralthi cruiser en-route. Their success forces the Kilrathi to retreat from the Vega sector.
Operation Thor's Hammer
On 2654.326, St John and Blair launch in Hornets to defend a Diligent transport heading for the Goddard colony as it prepares to jump, and then escort a Venture-class corvette to the Tiger’s Claw. Later, they launch again to search and destroy any Kilrathi remaining in the Goddard system.
Freedom Flight / Operation Crusade
- On 2655.199, St John attempts to perform a manual two-point “touch and go” landing just to show off. He snaps off one of his laser cannons, breaks three aerials and terrifies the flight deck crew.
- On 2655.200, St John and Blair fly in Rapiers to intercept and destroy a Fralthi headed to the Tartarus system.
- On 2655.239, St John wins a shuttle ticket to Firekka from Mariko Tanaka in a card game on the Tiger’s Claw. He travels to Firekka for a few days’ shore leave and to attend the signing of the Articles of Confederation ceremony. Upon arrival, St John finds he cannot get his 12-year-old Scotch through customs without paying 10 credits duty for each bottle. He sends them back to the Tiger’s Claw, and the Firekkan customs officer recommends that he try Firekka’s Finest instead. St John meets K’Kai, a Firekkan with whom he had only previously spoken to via a communications link in the Vega sector, in the Red Flower Bar.
- On 2655.240, Colonel Peter Halcyon revokes St John’s leave on Firekka. St John originally planned to spend three days leave on Firekka, but was called back to the Tiger’s Claw on the morning of the second day. Hung over after a drinking binge the previous night, he has to be dragged on to the shuttle which would take him back to the Claw. Once there, he is forced to drink a hangover cure – he has previously suffered drinking the ‘goop’ four or five times.
- On 2655.271, St John saves the defecting KIS Ras Nik’hra by destroying the KIS Kraj’nishk. The captain of the Ras Nik’hra, Ralgha nar Hhallas, assigns Kirha’s fealty to St John in gratitude.
- On 2655.278, St John feigns a communications problem when returning to the Tiger’s Claw after a patrol. Instead of landing on the carrier, he goes to take a look on the Ras Nik’hra. St John takes one of the Dralthi Mk IIs for an unauthorised flight and encounters five Gratha headed for the TCS Austin. The Kilrathi, not knowing St John is flying the Dralthi, are taken by surprise, and St John helps in the Austin’s defence.
- After the battle, St John finds his controls disabled, with the Dralthi on a collision course with the Austin. He jumps out the bottom hatch, and the Austin catches him with the tractor beam before he smashes into the hull. He has lunch with Commander James Reilly and the Austin’s captain.
- St John had previously been carried off the Austin for being drunk and disorderly in the recreation room. When Petrenkov of the Austin offers his resignation as squadron commander, St John suggests fellow Tiger’s Claw pilot Jeannette Devereaux as a replacement.
- Later, St John lands on Firekka in a Dralthi. He asks K’Kai to leave with him, but she chooses to stay and defend the planet against the Kilrathi. He almost does not make it back to the Tiger’s Claw in time for her out-system jump and retreat from the incoming Kilrathi armada.
- On 2655.293, St John and Blair launch in Raptors from the Tiger’s Claw to defend her from Kilrathi attack in the Corsair system. Later, they launch again to intercept Kilrathi troop transports in-bound to Firekka.
- Since 2655.315, St John is declared a flock-friend to K’Kai.
- St John was one of the few survivors of the Tiger’s Claw – he began a two-week leave period the day before she was ambushed in the K’tithrak Mang system. St John spent his leave in Brisbane with his family and in Sydney with his parents.
- On 2656.069, St John meets Kirha and K’Kai again on Sol station – it takes a while for St John to take Kirha’s oath of fealty seriously. After some private discussions with them, he decides to help K’Kai rescue the Firekkan hostages on Ghorah Khar. St John also meets Lieutenant Gwen Larson on the station and flirts with her – to Kirha’s confusion.
- The next day, St John decides to hijack the Bonnie Heather, James Taggart’s ship, knowing that Taggart is already planning a covert operation. He finds Taggart and Gwen aboard and they agree to help St John, K’Kai and Kirha rescue the Firekka.
- On 2656.075, St John is forced to fight a single Kilrathi in hand-to-hand combat to the death, while searching for the Firekkan hostages with Kirha. St John is clearly at a disadvantage, so he orders Kirha to assist him, much to Kirha’s dismay.
- With K’Kai, Taggart and Gwen working to distract the Kilrathi, St John and Kirha eventually manage to lead the Firekka to the Bonnie Heather. Jalthi fighters pursue the Heather as she attempts to escape, so K’Kai takes control of the freighter while St John and Taggart fight them off in Rapiers. They return to the Heather just before she jumps out.
- On 2656.080, St John releases Kirha from his oath of fealty, granting him the right to start his own clan, just before Kirha is sent to a prisoner camp.
St John also lost a brother during the assault on Firekka. He was a Marine who attacked the war priestesses.
- By 2668.191, St John flies from the TCS Concordia. While flying in the Sixth Battle of Munro in a Broadsword, his co-pilot was a female known as Griffin and his turret gunner was a 19-year-old girl named Jonesy. St John’s Broadsword has a laser guidance system so that the weapons officer can guide torpedoes manually if target lock is lost.
- St John was chosen to serve as one of Admiral Geoffrey Tolwyn’s aides for the signing of the armistice with the Kilrathi in 2668. St John was also among those who retired on 2668.228, still with the space force rank of captain.
- St John’s ability to tell stories of his heroics was legendary in the Vacuum Breathers Bar on the Moon. He also has his own mug there.
- On 2668.229, Kevin Tolwyn asks St John, Jason Bondarevsky and Etienne Montclair to join him at Geoffrey Tolwyn’s personal estate on Earth. From Earth orbit, they take a shuttle to London, and then a Zephyr shuttle to the estate at Windward, Scotland.
- On 2668.300, St John is chased by a new variant of Kilrathi IFF missile in the Buford’s World system, Landreich space. The missile ignores chaff and other decoys, continuing towards the target once it is locked.
- The Bannockburn is a light smuggler craft with stealth capabilities, with Taggart as pilot and St John as co-pilot. On 2669.308, the Bannockburn jumps ahead to scout, with the TCS Tarawa jumping fifteen minutes later.
- On 2668.341, St John is killed three jumps into Hari space when six Kilrathi IFF missiles destroy his Ferret. He had a chance to eject, but chose to stay with his fighter to destroy a Kilrathi fighter making an attack run on the Bannockburn.
Ian St. John from the 2654 issue of Claw Marks
Ian St. John as seen in Super Wing Commander