18 September 2011

Victoria Cross: F. T. Peters


Acting Captain, Royal Navy; commanding HMS Walney

Born: 17 September 1889, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Died: 13 November 1942, off Plymouth, Devon

Citation: The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the VICTORIA CROSS to:
the late Acting Captain Frederick Thornton Peters, D.S.O., D.S.C., Royal Navy,
for valour in taking H.M.S. Walney, in an enterprise of desperate hazard, into the harbour of Oran on the 8th November, 1942. Captain Peters led his force through the boom towards the jetty in the face of point-blank fire from shore batteries, a Destroyer and a Cruiser. Blinded in one eye, he alone of the seventeen Officers and Men on the bridge survived. The Walney reached the jetty disabled and ablaze, and went down with her colours flying.

[London Gazette issue 36019 dated 18 May 1943, published 14 May 1943.]

Note: The attack on the Vichy-controlled port of Oran, in Algeria, was carried out as Operation RESERVIST, part of the North African invasion (Operation TORCH). The goal of RESERVIST was to capture facilities and ships at Oran before they could be destroyed, but the plan failed when the two sloops carrying the invasion force, HM Ships Walney and Hartland, were sunk.

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