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ADMIRAL SOMERVILLE VISITS HMS ARK ROYAL TO CONGRATULATE THE OFFICERS AND SHIP'S COMPANY AFTER THE SUCCESSFUL ENGAGEMENT WITH THE BISMARCK, OCTOBER 1941

Beadell, S J (Lt)|Royal Navy official photographer
ADMIRAL SOMERVILLE VISITS HMS ARK ROYAL TO CONGRATULATE THE OFFICERS AND SHIP'S COMPANY AFTER THE SUCCESSFUL ENGAGEMENT WITH THE BISMARCK, OCTOBER 1941
October 1941
Official photograph
© Crown copyright

Officers and ratings who were decorated for the part they played in the sinking of the BISMARCK, in front of a Fairey Swordfish aircraft. Left to right: Lieutenant P D Gick, RN, awarded DSC; Lieutenant Commander Eugene Esmonde, RN, awarded DSO; Sub Lieutenant V K Norfolk, RN, awarded DSC; A/PO Air L D Sayer awarded DSM; A/Ldg Air A L Johnson, awarded DSM.

Lieutenant Commander Eugene Esmonde DSO was the commanding officer of 825 Squadron Fleet Air Arm. He later went on to be awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for his attack on the GNEISENAU and SCHARNHORST in the Dover Straits on 12 February 1942 whilst the squadron was based at HMS DAEDALUS (RNAS Lee on Solent). Original description: Once again the aircraft carrier, HMS ARK ROYAL, has been in the news. Not even Dr Goebbels or the Italians can keep a good ship down. The ARK ROYAL still sails the seas, in spite of being "sunk" by enemy propaganda, and not even enemy bombs shells and torpedoes. During the chase and final destruction of the BISMARCK the ARK ROYAL played a prominent part, and has shared in the battle honours of the occasion. Recently Vice Admiral Sir James Somerville, KCB DSC visited HMS ARK ROYAL and congratulated the officers and ship's company for the good work that had been done in notion with the enemy. Officers and ratings of the Fleet Air Arm who were recently decorated for the part they played in the sinking of the German battleship BISMARCK.

IWM Reference: A 5826