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
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.