Ordinary Seaman Edward "Teddy" Sheean
Ordinary Seaman Edward Sheean was killed during the attack by Japanese aircraft which sank the Bathurst Class corvette HMAS Armidale in the Arafura Sea on 1 December 1942.
Armidale set out from Darwin for Betano, Timor, on a twofold mission: to take relief troops to Sparrow Force, the Allied presence on Timor, and to bring back withdrawing troops. Under frequent air attacks, the ship was unable to complete its mission and sank within minutes of being hit by two torpedoes. After the order to "abandon ship", Teddy Sheean, although twice wounded, stayed at his post at the aft Oerlikon gun, bringing down an enemy bomber. He was still firing when the ship sank.
Of the 149 men on board, 47 died when Armidale was attacked and only 49 were eventually rescued a week after the sinking.
Sheean was posthumously Mentioned in Despatches "for bravery and devotion to duty when HMAS Armidale was lost." In May 1999 Sheean was honoured by the Royal Australian Navy when Collins Class Submarine No. 5 was named HMAS Sheean. This is the first occasion on which a RAN vessel has been named after an ordinary seaman.
In 1987 the Royal Australian Navy Corvettes Association erected a plaque in memory of Sheean in Corvettes' Corner at Shropshire Park, Ulverstone, Tasmania.
Ordinary Seaman Edward ‘Teddy’ Sheean’s Mentioned in Despatches was upgraded to the Victoria Cross for Australia in 2020. On the 1st of December 2020, at Government House, the Governor-General presented the insignia of the Victoria Cross for Australia to his family.