Home' Navy News : April 28th 2011 Contents NAVY NEWS
Twenty-two Navy members, past and present, hav
honesty, courage, integrity and loyalty.
Part One of this two-part centrespread profiles 1
Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal
profile another 11 outstanding Navy people.
The group illustrates Navy's finest qualities as the RAN
in July this year, and will be used to educate Navy mem
understanding of Australia's maritime heritage, as well
protect this country's maritime interests.
Henry Hugh Gordon
LCDR Stoker was a Royal Navy
officer and the commander of the
submarine AE2, the first Allied ves-
sel to successfully pass through the
Dardanelles in April 1915.
AE2 was scuttled after being dam-
aged by a Turkish gunboat and the crew
taken prisoner. The full story of Stoker's
accomplishment was not revealed until
after the war.
Although other submarine com-
manders received the Victoria Cross for
comparable efforts, Stoker was awarded
the Distinguished Service Order in April
1919. There is some evidence in Turkish
and German sources that AE2 waved a
white flag or sheet to ensure the crew
were not fired at while in the water. This
was interpreted by the Turks as surren-
der.No Victoria Cross has ever been
awarded to an officer who surrendered
LS Rudd participated in the ballot
for the award of a Victoria Cross
because the actions of his unit in the
Zeebrugge raid on April 22-23, 1918,
were considered to be deserving of the
Rudd was aboard HMS Vindictive,
which was tasked with landing shore
parties on the breakwater at Zeebrugge,
known as the Mole. The Mole had been
transformed into a seaward outpost of
the German coastal defence system and,
for all intents and purposes, was a minor
Vindictive came under heavy enemy
fire as she approached the Mole, suf-
fering heavy casualties, including most
of the officers in charge of her landing
parties. The five Australians aboard,
including Rudd, formed part of the land-
ing parties and, once ashore, found that
Vindictive had overshot her assigned
position and that the original objective
of rushing the Mole head battery was
The objective then changed to one
of holding ground as a diversionary
measure while under intense enemy fire.
With the other ships involved in the raid
achieving their respective objectives, the
recall was sounded and Vindictive made
good her escape.
A total of 11 RAN sailors partici-
pated in the raid. None were wounded.
Rudd was awarded the Distinguished
Service Medal for his part in the raid.
Later Rudd was involved in a mutiny on
board HMAS Australia and was stripped
of his award.
Robert Ian Davies
Davies joined HMS Repulse as a mid-
shipman on March 8, 1941.
In October 1941 the British
Government decided to deploy a battle
fleet, Force Z, to Singapore with the aim
of deterring Japan from entering the war
on the side of the Axis powers.
However, on December 8 the
Japanese landed troops in Malaya
and Thailand. That afternoon Prince
of Wales, Repulse and four destroy-
ers sailed from Singapore to intercept
the enemy. At dawn on December 10
they approached the Malayan coast at
Kuantan to investigate a report of a land-
ing. The information proved to be false
and they turned east, steaming towards
the Anambas Islands. Shortly after 1100
high level bombers attacked, caus-
ing minor damage to Repulse. Twenty
minutes later a formation of torpedo-
bombers appeared. Struck five times by
torpedoes, Repulse rolled over and sank
Davies' shipmates last saw him fir-
ing an Oerlikon gun at enemy aircraft
when he and the gun mounting were
slowly submerging. He was posthu-
mously Mentioned in Despatches.
Francis Bassett 'Richard'
Emms was a leading cook aboard
HMAS Kara Kara during the
Japanese air raids on Darwin on
February 19, 1942.
Despite suffering a severe stomach
wound, Emms manned a machine gun.
At the end of the raid, Emms collapsed
and it was only then that extent of his
injuries was realised. He was trans-
ported to the hospital ship Manunda but
died en route.
The commanding officer of the
Boom Defence Squadron noted that
Emms "probably [saved] the ship and
many of the ship's company".
Emms received a posthumous
Mention in Despatches and his actions
have been favourably compared with
those of a Royal Navy sailor, LS Jack
Mantle, who received a posthumous
Victoria Cross after defending his ship
against air attack in 1940.
Robert William Rankin
LCDR Rankin was the commanding
officer of the sloop HMAS Yarra.
On March 4, 1942, Yarra was mak-
ing her way to Australia with a small
convoy escaping the Japanese advance.
At 0630, the lookout in Yarra sighted
the topmasts of three Japanese heavy
cruisers to the north east. Immediately
Rankin made an enemy report, ordered
the ships of the convoy to scatter and,
placing his ship between them and the
enemy, laid smoke while preparing to
engage the Japanese.
Armed with just three 4-inch guns
and faced by ships armed with 8-inch
weapons, Yarra's situation was hope-
less. Rankin nevertheless continued
fighting until the end in a desperate
attempt to save his convoy.
Soon after 0800 Rankin gave the
order to abandon ship minutes before he
was killed when a Japanese salvo hit the
bridge. Rankin's actions were in every
way comparable with those of CMDR
Fegan of HMS Jervis Bay, for which
Fegan received a posthumous Victoria
Cross. Rankin did not receive an award.
LS Taylor was a member of HMAS
He ignored the order to abandon
Robert Ian Davies
Links Archive April 14th 2011 May 12th 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page