ADMIRAL SCHEER - Convoy HX84 Under Fire
Media: oil on board
Size: 572 x 737 mm
Acquired: 1986; Gift
Accession Number: 86.23I/70
This picture records one of the most celebrated actions at sea of the Second World War. On 5 November 1940, convoy HX84 was attacked by the German battleship Admiral Scheer. The armed merchant escort to the convoy, H.M.S. Jervis Bay engaged the vastly superior Admiral Scheer, she was soon totally disabled and on fire and her flames can be seen at the top left of the picture. The convoy, which included Reardon Smith’s Cornish City (in the centre), was able to scatter, but also hit was the tanker San Demetrio, visible in the background. She was abandoned by her crew, but they came across her later, largely undamaged and with the fire extinguished; the tanker was then re-boarded and her precious cargo of petrol brought safely to the UK. Captain Fogarty Fegan, master of the Jervis Bay, was awarded a posthumous VC for his courage in the face of such odds. Painted for Reardon Smith Line, Cardiff.