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A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project


Service information for: 


Michael John Fitzgerald, B.E.M.


Lt, O-23846, RCN


Michael J. Fitzgerald enlisted in the RCNVR (Service number V7589) as a Signalman. He commissioned from the ranks and was appointed Midshipman on 03 Jul 1946.


B.E.M. citation: FITZGERALD, Michael John, Signalman, V7589 - British Empire Medal (BEM) -RCNVR -Awarded as per Canada Gazette of 8 January 1944 and London Gazette of 1 January 1944.

"This signalman was one of the two original volunteers to board an American tanker full of gasoline, after collision in August 1943. He remained in the blazing ship for over two hours, at great personal risk, fighting the fires himself and setting a fine example to others of the boarding party who arrived later."


Ships served in:

HMCS COBALT - Served in Cobalt as a Sig, RCNVR

HMCS UGANDA - Appointed to Uganda 14 Sep 1946 as a Midshipman, RCN(R) (Navy List Oct 1946)

Demobilized 14 Jun 1947 (Navy List Jun 1947)

HMCS DONNACONA - appointed to Donnacona 30 Jun 1948 as a A/SLt, RCN(R) (Navy List Jan 1949)

Retired List - as a Slt, RCN(R) (seniority 03 Jul 1947) (Navy List Jul 1949)

HMCS SCOTIAN - Appointed to Scotian 02 Sep 1957 as Lt (SSA), RCN, Staff officer for UNTD St. Francis Xavier University (Navy List Jan 1958)

HMCS SCOTIAN - Appointed to Scotian 11 Aug 1958 as Lt, RCN (SSA), Add'l, School Relations Officer Maritimes (Navy List Jan 1959)

HMCS BRUNSWICKER - Appointed to Brunswicker 02 Jun 1959 as Lt, RCN (SSA), Schools Relations and Recruiting Duties (Navy list Jul 1959)

HMCS ATHABASKAN - Appointed to Athabaskan 24 Oct 1960 as Lt, RCN (Navy List Jan 1961)

HMCS SWANSEA - Appointed to Swansea 24 Jul 1961 as Lt, RCN (Navy List Oct 1962)


Article on awards bestowed on 4 Cobalt crew members.  Only the CO, LCdr Ronald Judges, RCNVR - awarded Mentioned in Despatches - is mentioned in the article by name. The other 3 sailors were Mate Alfred W. Bett, RCNR - awarded the George Medal;  ERA 4c James Werely, RCNR- awarded the British Empire Medal; and, Sig Michael J. Fitzgerald, RCNVR - awarded the British Empire Medal

Halifax newspaper 22 Mar 1944

Article research by / Courtesy of George Newbury


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