RMS RANGITIKI
1928 ~ 1962

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HMS Jervis Bay

The gallant fight put up by RMS Jervis Bay, an armed British merchantman, otherwise somewhat optimistically known as an 'Armed Merchant Cruiser,' under the command of Captain Fogarty Fegen, R.N. has been well documented in books, newspaper accounts and on the internet, and is well described in the stories to be found in the links section below.

Briefly then, Convoy HX84 consisting of 37 merchant ships escorted by the Jervis Bay came under attack in the early evening of 5 November 1940 by the powerful German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer whose initial target was mv Rangitiki.  It has been said that it was the size of the 'Tiki (at around 17,000 tons the largest vessel in the convoy), and its two funnel profile that made it such attractive prey.  Upon the Scheer's initial shell-fire falling dangerously close to the 'Tiki, Capt. Fegen ordered his ship to engage the enemy, although hopelessly outgunned and with no protective armour to resist the Scheer's 11" guns.  It was a gesture of the most gallant kind, the sacrifice of one ship for the good of the rest of the convoy.  The outcome was certain, but the heroic fight put up by the Jervis Bay gained sufficient precious time for the convoy to scatter under the protective screen of smoke, and the Rangitiki and 30 other merchantmen eventually made it safely to harbour.  A second ship, the lightly armed ss Beaverford commanded by Capt. Hugh Pettigrew, then made to engage the Scheer and succeeded in gaining some more precious time for the convoy before she, too, was overpowered and sent to the bottom.

Capt. Fegen was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) and the Third Officer, Mr. N. Wood was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) for their actions during this famous event.

Newspaper Cuttings


The newspaper cuttings (links below) were provided by a correspondent, J.T. Beardow, now resident in Ontario, Canada, whose Grandfather, W.A.E. Clode was Head Baker on board RMS Rangitiki during this incident.
See also the clipping on the "Mick" Overall page for more information on Mr. Clode.

The identities of the newspapers that published these items are not known, but we would be very pleased to give credit if someone is able to advise us.
NN

For a more legible view, click once on each image from these links

LINER ATTACKS RAIDER
TO SAVE BIG CONVOY

'A BIG 'UN THAT GOT AWAY'

SECOND 'GRAF SPEE'
AT LARGE

RANGITIKI WAS REFUGEE SHIP

 

Another Cutting provided by
David Howse

ON THIS DAY

THE AGE
(Australia)
Report dated 14 November 1940

 

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Click on the links below for a full account of "The Jervis Bay Incident"
 
Tania Long Ross MemorialPark U-Boat.net s.s. Canonesa
Caithness Archives Shaw Savill Royal Naval Museum