Ordinary Seaman Edward ‘Teddy’ Sheean’s bravery and sacrifice has long been recognised and honoured by the Department of Defence and the Royal Australian Navy. Her Majesty The Queen has approved the posthumous award of the Victoria Cross for Australia to Teddy Sheean. There is no higher honour in the Australian Honours System than the Victoria Cross. Sheean’s story of bravery is well known and Defence continues to celebrate his heroic and gallant actions.
On 1 December 1942, HMAS Armidale came under aerial bombardment and torpedo attack from Japanese aircraft. As the enemy fired upon the ship and his shipmates who were already in the water, Sheean chose to forgo his opportunity for survival by not abandoning ship and returned to his action station to man the aft Oerlikon gun. Sheean strapped himself into the gun and commenced firing at the enemy, damaging at least two enemy aircraft.
Sheean sacrificed his life trying to save his shipmates and, despite his wounds, he continued firing the gun until the ship sank and took him to his death. Defence welcomes the announcement today in recognition of Teddy’s extraordinary actions, service, dedication and sacrifice. This is a great honour for the late Sheean, for his family, for his shipmates, for the Royal Australian Navy, and for the Australian Defence Force.