Lt I.E. Fraser DSC VC & LS J.J. Magennis VC

Lt I.E. Fraser DSC VC & LS J.J. Magennis VC

Lt I.E. Fraser DSC VC
LS J.J. Magennis VC

FraserVC

MagennisVC

FraserMagennissSub

Submariner VC
Blue Plaque

The Submariners Association are running a project to erect a Blue Plaque to commemorate holders of the VC who were submariners. Frank (Sandy) Powel a member of the Associations NMC is the driving force in getting all the hard work done, which involves selecting the location, getting all the permissions required and arranging the unveiling.

HolbrookPlaque4

Click here to see Press Release

1945
31st July

Lt Ian FRASER RNR, CO and diver Leading Seaman James MAGENNIS, midget submarine XE.3 successfully laid charge under Japanese heavy cruiser 'Takao' off Singapore in the Johore Straits, badly damaging and sinking her.

They were both awarded the Victoria Cross

The London Gazette, Tuesday, 13 November, 1945 (From the ADMIRALTY, Whitehall, S.W.1)
The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the VICTORIA CROSS for valour to:
Lieutenant Ian Edward FRASER, D.S.C.. R.N.R.

Lieutenant Fraser commanded His Majesty's Midget Submarine XE 3 in a successful attack on a Japanese heavy cruiser of the Atago class at her moorings in Johore Strait, Singapore, on 31st July, 1945. During the long approach up the Singapore Straits XE 3 deliberately left the believed safe channel and entered mined waters to avoid suspected hydrophone posts. The target was aground, or nearly aground, both fore and aft, and only under the midships section was there just sufficient water for XE 3 to place herself under the cruiser.

For forty minutes XE.3 pushed her way along the seabed until finally Lieutenant Fraser managed to force her right under the centre of the cruiser. Here he placed the limpets and dropped his main side charge. Great difficulty was experienced in extricating the craft after the attack had been completed, but finally XE 3 was clear, and commenced her long return journey out to sea, The courage and determination of Lieutenant Fraser are beyond all praise. Any man not possessed of his relentless determination to achieve his object in full, regardless of all consequences, would have dropped his side charge alongside the target instead of persisting until he had forced his submarine right under the cruiser. The approach and withdrawal en¬tailed a passage of 80 miles through water which had been mined by both the enemy and ourselves, past hydrophone positions, over loops and controlled minefields, and through an anti submarine boom.

 

Temporary Acting Leading Seaman James Joseph MAGGENIS D/JX 144907.

Leading Seaman Magennis served as Diver in His Majesty's Midget Submarine XE 3 for her attack On 31st July, 1945, on a Japanese cruiser of the Atago class. Owing to the fact that XE 3 was tightly jammed under the target the diver's hatch could not be fully opened, and Magennis had to squeeze himself through the narrow space available. He experienced great difficulty in placing his limpets on the bottom of the cruiser owing both to the foul state of the bottom and to the pronounced slope upon which the limpets would not hold. Before a limpet could be placed therefore Magennis had thoroughly to scrape the area clear of barnacles and in order to secure the limpets he had to tie them in pairs by a line passing under the cruiser keel. This was very tiring work for a diver, and he was moreover handicapped by a steady leakage of oxygen which was ascending in bubbles to the surface.

A lesser man would have been content to place a few limpets and then to return to the craft. Magennis however, persisted until he had placed his full outfit before returning to the craft in an exhausted condition. Shortly after withdrawing Lieutenant Fraser endeavoured to jettison his limpet carriers, but one of these would not release itself and fall clear of the craft. Despite his exhaustion, his oxygen leak and the fact that there was every probability of his being sighted, Magennis at once volunteered to leave the craft and free the carrier rather than allow a less experienced diver to undertake the job. After seven minutes of nerve racking work he succeeded in releasing the carrier. Magennis displayed very great courage and devotion to duty and complete disregard for his own safety.

About our Association

The Submariners Association is an Association of ex and serving Submariners which seeks to maintain the special bonds of friendship, loyalty and comradeship, together with a pride in the Submarine Service, formed during service in Her Majesty's Submarines.

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