Home' Navy News : April 28th 2011 Contents au/news/navynews
April 28, 2011
ve been selected to represent the values of honour,
11 Navy people being considered for awards in a
inquiry into acts of gallantry and valour. Part Two will
N begins celebrations to mark its 100th anniversary
mbers and the community to promote a greater
as the sacrifices made by everyday Australians to
ship and remained alone at his gun,
firing continually until he was killed
shortly before Yarra sank. It is note-
worthy that on February 5, 1942, Yarra
rescued 1804 people from the troopship
Empress of Asia, which had been crip-
pled by an air attack near Singapore.
His commanding officer singled
out Taylor saying, "The captain of No.
2 gun deserves commendation in that,
on this occasion, as on many others, he
controlled his gun with judgment and
determination. This rating's keenness
and courage are a good example to all
those in his vicinity".
Taylor did not receive an award.
Francis E Smith
LCDR Smith was Yarra's first lieu-
tenant and was also lost in her sink-
ing.His actions as officer of quarters
of No. 3 gun had received high praise
during previous actions, but he did not
receive an award.
Hector Macdonald Laws
CAPT Waller was the commanding
officer of the cruiser, HMAS Perth.
Following the disastrous Battle of
the Java Sea on February 27-28, 1942,
in which five Allied ships were lost,
Perth and USS Houston attempted to
escape to Australia.
Late in the evening of February 29
the two cruisers unexpectedly ran across
a powerful Japanese invasion fleet in
the Sunda Strait and, despite the odds,
set about doing the maximum possible
Waller fought hard until, with his
ammunition gone and Perth stopped by
a torpedo, he gave the order to prepare
to abandon ship. A few moments later
another torpedo struck just ahead of the
first hit, and Waller gave the order to
After five or 10 minutes a third tor-
pedo struck well aft on the starboard
side. This was followed shortly after-
wards by a fourth torpedo, which hit on
the port side.
The ship then righted herself, heeled
over to port and sank at 0025 on March
CAPT Waller did not survive, but
received a posthumous Mention in
Edward 'Teddy' Sheean
Ordinary SMN Sheean was an
Oerlikon anti-aircraft gun-loader in
the corvette, HMAS Armidale.
Shortly before 1400 on December
1, 1942, Armidale was attacked in the
Edward 'Teddy' Sheean
Timor Sea by no less than 13 Japanese
Despite frantic manoeuvring, the
corvette was repeatedly hit. As the vessel
listed heavily to port, the order was given
to abandon ship. The survivors leapt into
the sea and were machine-gunned by the
Once he had helped to free a life-raft,
Sheean scrambled back to his gun on the
sinking ship. Although wounded in the
chest and back, the 18-year-old sailor
shot down one bomber and kept other
aircraft away from his comrades in the
He was seen still firing his gun as
Armidale slipped below the waves.
Sheean received a posthumous
Mention in Despatches.
David John Hamer
LEUT Hamer (later a Senator) was
the gunnery officer aboard HMAS
Australia during her operations in the
Lingayen Gulf in January 1945.
Here she was subjected to repeated
suicide attacks, being hit four times, los-
ing three officers and 41 ratings killed
and one officer and 68 ratings wounded.
Hamer was awarded the
Distinguished Service Cross for his part
in the action, and there is some sugges-
tion that Hamer was originally consid-
ered for the award of a Victoria Cross.
Noel Ervin Shipp
Leading Air Crewman Shipp joined
the RAN on January 10, 1963, as an
underwater control rating.
Shipp transferred to the air crewman
category in July 1967 and the following
year was posted to the RAN Helicopter
Flight Vietnam (HFV).
The RANHFV was integrated with
the US Army 135th Assault Helicopter
Company, flying Iroquois helicopters in
utility and gunship configurations.
Shipp soon found himself flying
as a helicopter door-gunner with the
"Taipans", the 135th's gunship platoon.
In this role he flew numerous missions
providing suppression fire for troop-lift
helicopters and he also participated in
frequent ground assaults on enemy posi-
tions and troop concentrations.
On May 31, 1969, aircraft of the
135th were extracting elements of the 7th
ARVN Infantry Division from a pick-up
zone in Dinh Tuong Province when they
came under intense fire from automatic
weapons. Three aircraft were damaged
and one pilot was injured, necessitating
his immediate medical evacuation.
The aircraft in which Shipp was fly-
ing immediately proceeded to the pick-
up zone and began making rocket runs
on the enemy position.
With complete disregard for his own
safety, Shipp hung half outside his air-
craft, exposing himself to rocket back
blast and intense enemy fire to bring
more effective fire to bear on the target.
At this point of the action Shipp's
pilot was hit and the gunship rapidly lost
altitude before crashing and exploding in
the jungle below. All four crew members
During the entire run, up until the
moment of impact, Shipp was seen
delivering devastating fire into the
enemy positions. Shipp did not receive
-- Information compiled by Navy
Communications and Media
Editor's note: For more information on
the 'Inquiry into Unresolved Recognition for
Past Acts of Naval and Military Gallantry
and Valour', visit www.defence-honours-
tribunal.gov.au, email DHA.Tribunal@
defence.gov.au or call (02) 6266 3486.
Submissions close on June 30.
Links Archive April 14th 2011 May 12th 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page