11 October 2009

Victoria Cross: E. S. F. Fegen


Commander (acting Captain), Royal Navy; commanding HMS Jervis Bay

Born: 8 October 1891, Southsea, Hampshire
Died: 5 November 1940, Atlantic Ocean aboard HMS Jervis Bay

Citation: The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the VICTORIA CROSS to

the late Commander (acting Captain) Edward Stephen Fogarty Fegen, Royal Navy

for valour in challenging hopeless odds and giving his life to save the many ships it was his duty to protect.
On the 5th of November, 1940, in heavy seas, Captain Fegen, in His Majesty's Armed Merchant Cruiser Jervis Bay, was escorting thirty-eight merchantmen [in convoy HX34]. Sighting a powerful German warship he at once drew clear of the Convoy, made straight for the Enemy, and brought his ship between the Raider and her prey, so that they might scatter and escape. Crippled, in flames, unable to reply, for nearly an hour the Jervis Bay held the German's fire. So she went down; but of the merchantmen all but four or five were saved.

[London Gazette issue 34999 dtd 22 Nov 1940, published 22 Nov 1940]

Note: The German ship that sank Jervis Bay - a 14,000-ton merchant cruiser which had been converted from a 1922-vintage passenger liner - was the pocket battleship Admiral Scheer, commanded by Theodor Krancke.
Fegen, as commanding officer of HMS Garland, was awarded the Sea Gallantry Medal (the Board of Trade Medal for Saving Life) in silver during World War I.

No comments: