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digger52

Finally the Victoria Cross has been rewarded to Teddy Sheean

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When we play world of warships we sometimes forget the men that fought and died in these ships.

Today finally this brave Royal Australian navy lad postumously has been awarded the Victoria Cross.

"Teddy Sheean was 27 days short of his 19th birthday, a mere ordinary seaman on the corvette HMAS Armidale, when he made the decision to go down, guns blazing, to save as many of his mates as possible.

On Tuesday, precisely 78 years after his death, Edward Sheean became the first member of the Royal Australian Navy to be awarded a Victoria Cross, the highest award in the Australian honours system."

Dale Marsh's painting of Edward "Teddy" Sheean, strapped to an anti-aircraft gun on HMAS Armidale.

 

This famous painting of him is featured at our national War memorial.

 

Lest we forget.

 

Some more detail on his actions

On 29 November 1942, Armidale set out for an operation to Betano, Timor, along with HMAS Castlemaine. The two ships were attacked by Japanese aircraft along the way, and were subsequently late in arriving at their destination, missing a planned rendezvous with HMAS Kuru. While returning to Darwin, the pair encountered Kuru south of Betano and it was decided by Castlemaine's commanding officer—as the senior officer—that Armidale and Kuru should make for Betano. The two ships took different routes to Betano, during which both vessels came under aerial assault. During a subsequent confrontation with thirteen Japanese aircraft on 1 December, Armidale was struck by two torpedoes and a bomb, and began to sink; the order to abandon ship was given. After helping to free a life-raft, Sheean was wounded by two bullets. He made his way to the aft Oerlikon 20 mm cannon and began to fire on the Japanese aircraft to protect those in the water. Sheean managed to shoot down one of the Japanese bombers, but was killed when Armidale sank. Many of the survivors credited their lives to Sheean and he was posthumously mentioned in despatches.

Consideration was given to awarding Sheean the Victoria Cross for Australia (VC) and, in 1999, the RAN submarine HMAS Sheean was named in his honour. An inquiry in 2013 recommended that he not be awarded the VC. A 2019 inquiry recommended in favour of the award, but was rejected by the Government. Another inquiry held during 2020 recommended that Sheean be awarded the VC, and this was accepted by the Government. Queen Elizabeth II approved the award on 12 August 2020.

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We salute the valiant dead. I hope whatever family he has is proud of this, despite how long it unfortunately it did.

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