Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (25 & 26 September 2019)

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Date of Auction: 25th & 26th September 2019

Sold for £1,300

Estimate: £1,000 - £1,400

A Second War submariner’s D.S.M. and King's Commendation for Bravery group of seven awarded to Leading Seaman R. Fentiman, Royal Navy

Distinguished Service Medal, G.VI.R. (L.S. R. Fentiman. P/SSX. 20166.); 1939-45 Star; Atlantic Star; Africa Star; Burma Star, 1 clasp, Pacific; War Medal 1939-45, with M.I.D. oak leaf; Fire Brigade Long Service Medal, E.II.R. (Div. Offr. Ronald Fentiman) mounted as worn, good very fine (7) £1,000-£1,400

Footnote

D.S.M. London Gazette 20 November 1945:
‘For gallantry, skill and outstanding devotion to duty whilst serving in H.M. Submarines ... Taciturn ... in numerous successful patrols in trying climatic conditions in the Pacific, frequently carried out in shallow and difficult waters and in the presence of strong opposition.’

The recommendation states: ‘This rating has served as gunlayer of H.M.S. “TACITURN” during working up and three patrols. AP.C.4 class Japanese Submarine Chaser and old Dutch Submarine K.18 have been sunk by gunfire, a large hulk by torpedo and three schooners by demolition. Also in a combined action with H.M.S. “THOROUGH” a lugger and landing craft were sunk and landing craft and several godowns were damaged. His efficiency in laying the gun and taking charge of the guns crew under enemy fire has been of a high order and his devotion to duty and enthusiasm have set a fine example.’

King's Commendation for Bravery, London Gazette 1 April 1941:
‘For brave conduct during an enemy air attack on Birkenhead
.

Ronald Fentiman joined the Royal Navy and served during the Second War initially as an Able Seaman in the cruiser H.M.S. Birmingham, in which role he was awarded a King's Commendation for Bravery for his brave conduct, along with another crewmate, during an enemy air attack on Birkenhead in early 1941. Transferring to Submarines, he subsequently served in H.M. Submarine Taciturn during her War Patrols in the Pacific Theatre, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.

H.M.S. Taciturn (P314) was a ‘T’ Class Submarine by Vickers Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness and was Commissioned on 8 October 1944. With a crew of 59, Taciturn was Commanded by Lieutenant Edward Talbot Stanley, D.S.O., D.S.C. between 1 November 1944 and 28 February 1946.

After testing and trials in Scotland, H.M.S. Taciturn set of on her first War Patrol in the North Sea on 23 January 1945. A month later she departing from Holy Loch for Gibraltar on the first leg of the passage to the Far East. After more trials on arrival in the Far East, she set off on her second War Patrol on 13 May 1945, where she was ordered to patrol in the Java and South China Seas.

According to her log, on 29 May 1945, H,M.S. Taciturn attacked a Japanese ‘submarine chaser’ with three torpedoes off the North coast of Java. No hits were obtained and Taciturn was depth charged following this attack. Minor damage was done to Taciturn. However, on 16 June 1945 she sank a Japanese air warning picket hulk (this was the hulk of the salvaged former Dutch submarine K XVIII, the Japanese auxiliary submarine chaser Cha 105, and a Japanese sailing vessel). The following day, she sank a schooner north of Surabaya, Java. Ten days later she ended her second patrol.

On 25 July 1945, Taciturn departed from Fremantle for her third War Patrol in the Java Sea. On 1 August 1945, Taciturn, in company with H.M.S. Thorough, attacked Japanese shipping and shore targets off northern Bali. Taciturn sank two Japanese sailing vessels with gunfire. On 15 August 1945, Taciturn was ordered to return to Fremantle. Arriving 6 days later, this was her last wartime offensive patrol.