Born in London, Dalzel-Job was the only son of Captain Ernest Dalzel-Job who was killed in the Battle of the Somme in 1916. After his father's death Dalzel-Job and his mother lived in various locations, including Switzerland, and he learnt to ski and sail. They returned to the UK in 1931 where he built his own schooner, the Mary Fortune, which he and his mother spent the next two years sailing around the British coast.
In 1937, they sailed to Norway and spent the next two years exploring the coast. During this time Dalzel-Job became fluent in Norwegian. He and his mother were accompanied by a Norwegian schoolgirl named Bjørg Bangsund.
At the outbreak of the war on December 8 1939, he was commissioned into the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. He served as Navigating Officer on a Fleet Tug operating from Scapa Flow between January and March 1940. From April until June, he served with the Anglo/French Expeditionary Force to Norway during which time he disobeyed a direct order to cease civilian evacuation from Narvik. His action saved some 5000 Norwegians for which King Haakon of Norway awarded him the Ridderkors (Knight's Cross) of St. Olav in 1943. This award saved him from being court-martialled.
In June 1942, Dalzel-Job was assigned to collate information about the west coast of Norway. A few months later, Lord Louis Mountbatten, head of Combined Operations, chose him to convey Commando raids there, known as 'VP operations', using eight 'D'-Class Motor Torpedo Boats.
From mid-1943 until early 1944, he served with the 12 (Special Service) Submarine Flotilla becoming versed with X-Craft and Welman midget submarines, while taking time to complete parachute training with the Airborne Division. As prospects for major action in Norway faded, Dalzel-Job visited London and discovered 30 AU (Assault Unit) Commando, the field operative unit of the Naval Intelligence Division - Room 30. He transferred to 30 AU under Commander Ian Fleming who was then Personal Assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence.
In this role, and promoted to Lieutenant Commander, he landed near Varreville on Utah beach, Normandy, on D+4 with two Royal Marines Commandos allocated to him, and an unrestricted authority order signed by U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower to pass through Allied lines and assault specific targets in German held territory. He subsequently assisted in disabling the German destroyer Z29 at Bremerhaven with full crew and taking surrender of the town of Bremen. Post war he served in the Canadian navy for some time.
Dalzel-Job was widely acclaimed as one of the main inspirations for James Bond, Ian Fleming's fictional character, though he stated that he personally "only ever loved one woman" and was "not a drinking man".
After the war he returned to Norway and found the girl he and his mother had sailed with before the war. He married her in 1945. They had one son, Iain Dalzel-Job, who served as a Major in the 2nd Scots Guards and commanded G Coy (7, 8 and 9 Platoons) at the assault on Mount Tumbledown during the Falklands War.
He released his memoirs, titled From Arctic Snow to Dust of Normandy (ISBN 0-9519788-0-2) in 1991.