Venue: Research Rooms @ Coast Centre, 2 Curie Avenue, Little Bay
Speaker: Ron Ray OAM, Volunteer Speaker, Australian National Maritime Museum
Topic: 'The Teddy SHEEAN Story'
No RAN sailor has received a VC. 50 VCs were awarded to RN personnel in WW I and 23 in WW II.
Ordinary Seaman Teddy Sheean on HMAS ARMIDALE was the youngest at 18 and the most junior rank – a loader for the OERLIKON anti- aircraft gun. The ship was attacked by 13 Japanese planes attacking from different directions. Two torpedoes hit the ship and the order was given to abandon ship. Teddy helped launch the motorboat then decided to defend his shipmates from the Japanese who were strafing them in the water.
The Navy recognized him by naming a COLLINS class submarine HMAS SHEEAN. He was finally awarded the VC on 1 December 2020, 78 years after the action and after constant pressure from family, politicians and his mates.