Friday, August 14, 2020

Fullbore Friday


So, what did you do after high school? How long have you had to wait for your full story to be understood? I offer to you Teddy Sheean;
On December 1, 1942, Sheean was a gunner's mate on the corvette HMAS Armidale, when it came under attack during an operation near Japanese-occupied Timor, now the country of Timor-Leste across the Timor Sea from the Australian city of Darwin. ... ...Japanese warplanes swooped in on the Armidale. The Australian corvette was hit by two torpedoes launched by the Japanese planes and quickly began to sink, according to the AWM. An order was given to abandon ship. "Sheean was wounded and, rather than abandon ship, he strapped himself to his Oerlikon (anti-aircraft gun) and began to engage the attacking aircraft even as the ship sunk beneath him. He shot down two planes, and crewmates recall seeing tracer rising from beneath the surface as Sheean was dragged under the water, firing until the end," the AWM says. There were 149 sailors aboard the Australian ship. Forty-nine survived and were plucked from the Timor Sea a week after the sinking. Each likely owed his life to the 18-year-old gunner's mate, according to an expert panel established in June of this year to adjudge Sheean's case.
Eventually, all gets settled.
...on Wednesday, almost 78 years after the then 18-year-old sailor provided cover for his comrades to escape the Japanese planes overhead, Sheean was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, the British Commonwealth's highest honor for military valor.
The distance they fought from Darwin is about the same distance as from Norfolk, VA to Boston, MA. 

Of note, Teddy's ship, HMAS Armidale, was commissioned a little under 6-months when she went down. 

Total war at sea demands and consumes at rates our modern minds have trouble grasping.

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