LIEUTENANT COMMANDER JOHN MURRAY SEPHTON, ROYAL NAVY, HMS 'ARDENT'




Recommended for the award of the Victoria Cross ( subsequently awarded the Distinguished Service Cross ( DSC ) ( Posthumous )

[ London Gazette, 11 October 1982 ], San Carlos Water, Falkland Islands, 21 May 1982, Lieutenant Commander John Murray Sephton, Royal Navy, HMS 'Ardent'.

On 21st May 1982, HMS 'Ardent' on station in San Carlos Water came under heavy attack from the Argentine Air Force and sustained many bomb hits, causing great damage and loss of life.

After the loss of the Seacat missile system Lieutenant Commander Sephton, the Flight Commander, organised the use of small arms by the Flight as a last ditch defence against the concentrated and severe enemy attacks. In a dangerous and desperate situation, he was last seen directing fire on the exposed Flight Deck, shooting a sub machine vertically up into an A4 Skyhawk the instant before it dropped the bombs that killed him. Three other Flight members were also killed.

Lieutenant Commander Sephton's extreme valour and self sacrifice was an example and inspiration to all the Ship's Company and undoubtedly deterred the enemy from making even more attacks.

Lieutenant Commander Sephton, RN was recommended for the Victoria Cross by the Task Force Commandeer but the Second Sea Lord ( Admiral Sir Desmond Cassidi, KCB ) referred the case back, since it was not considered strong enough.


The Committee records:

Following this action the Committee records "It is understood that it is now unlikely that a recommendation for a Victoria Cross will be pushed". Sephton was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross ( Posthumous ), announced in the Supplement to the London Gazette dated 8 October 1982.

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Iain Stewart, 9 July 2018