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No-one will ever know what made him do it.
In 1942, 18-year-old Edward “Teddy” Sheean was one of the youngest and most inexperienced sailors on board the the corvette HMAS Armidale. Whilst on operation in the Timor Sea this warship came under heavy attack by Japanese aircraft. Armidale began sinking while swarmed by Japanese aircraft, strafing and bombing the stricken vessel and the crew who were desperately trying to Abandon Ship. The wounded Ordinary Seaman turned back to his gun, an Oerlikon 20mm anti-aircraft cannon and strapped himself into the harness. He began firing at the attacking Japanese aircraft, a courageous young man, determined to do his best to save his mates. This selfless act of valour helped save the lives of many of his crew, before Teddy himself went down with the Armidale.
No member of the Royal Australian Navy has ever been awarded a Victoria Cross. Teddy’s family and many others took up his case and fought for his recognition. It took more than 70 years for Teddy to becomes the first in Australia’s Naval history to receive this highest award ¬– confirming Teddy Sheean is an Australian hero.
Sheean is the 101st VC awarded to an Australian