Victoria Cross to Captain Fegen

As Reported by the Canadian Press, November 17, 1940.

Hero of H.M.S. Jervis Bay, Lost with Ship, is Honored.

London, Nov. 17 - (C.P.) - A sturdy Irish captain - Fogarty Fegen - who went down with his ship, H.M.S. Jervis Bay, her guns blazing and her colors flying, was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously yesterday.

The Jervis Bay was sunk Nov. 5 as she challenged a powerful German raider in the mid-Atlantic. The "suicide" stand of the armed merchant cruiser allowed at least 33 of 38 ships in the convoy to escape.

The Admiralty announced that four ships were sunk by the raider and that one other ship still was unaccounted for. Another ship also escaped from the raider but later fell victim to enemy aircraft.

Captain Fegen, 49, went to his death maintaining the great traditions of the Royal Navy. During the First Great War he served as a lieutenant and later was in command of the destroyers Moy and Paladin. In 1924 he was appointed to command of the training ship Colossus. Later he was attached to the Dartmouth Naval College, and then became commander of the Naval College at Jervis Bay, in New South Wales.

His commands since 1929 included the cruiser Suffolk, in China, and the cruisers Dauntless, Dragon and Curlew, in reserve. For a time he was executive officer of the cruiser Emerald. He was appointed to the command of the Jervis Bay two months before the war.

The Jervis Bay, hopelessly outgunned and facing superior armament, poured shells at the Nazi raider and sunk in flames following an explosion, her guns roaring to the last. At least 66 survivors, taken aboard a merchantman, were landed at an East Coast Canadian port.

Capt. Edward Stephen Fogarty Fegen, V.C. - Click to Enlarge

VC Proposal

Mills Cigarette Card

Fegen Service Record:

  • 1922.Jan - promoted to Lt Cmdr Seniority 15/10/21, serving in HMS WHITLEY

  • 1922.Dec - appointed to HMS SOMME

  • 1924.Jan - appointed to HMS VOLUNTEER

  • 1925.Jun - appointed to HMS COLOSSUS Accommodation ship, 20,000 tons, Boys training ship.

  • 1926.Jul - appointed to HMS FORRES as Lt/Cmdr in command

  • 1927.Nov - on S O T C (Senior Officer`s Technical Course) at Portsmouth

  • 1927.Dec - appointed to R. A. N. - ( R A N C at Captains Point, Jervis Bay ) on Naval staff

  • 1928.Jan - believed promoted to Cmdr on 20/1/28

  • 1929.Dec - still at R A N

  • 1932/1934 - HMS OSPREY

  • 1934 - on S O W C (Senior Office`s War Course ) at R.N. College at Greenwich from 15/10/34 to February 1935

  • 1935.Mar - HMS DAUNTLESS to June 1935

Overseas League

  • 1935.Aug - HM Dockyard, Chatham to August 1938. HMS CURLEW - Reserve Fleet, and HMS DRAGON - Reserve Fleet

  • 1939.Jul - HMS EMERALD, Cruiser, 7,550 tons, Reserve Fleet at the Nore (Incidentally, the Capt of HMS EMERALD was Capt A.W.S.Agar, VC, DSO.)

  • 1940 - appointed Acting Capt of AMC HMS JERVIS BAY in Feb 1940

  • 49 when killed in action.