LEUT V. A. Crutchley, DSC, RN, was awarded the VC for conspicuous bravery while serving as the First Lieutenant of HMS VINDICTIVE, (cruiser),in the attack on the Belgian port of Ostend in April 1918. Crutchley showed outstanding courage and leadership when VINDICTIVE rammed the piers at the port and sank. He later took command of ML 254 while under fire during the withdrawal. Crutchley continued to serve in the RN after the war and in June 1942, with the rank of Admiral, he took command of the Australian Squadron and lead it for the next two years during the fighting in the Solomon Islands and New Guinea areas. He relinquished command of the Australian Squadron to CDRE John Collins, CB, RAN, in June 1944.
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