Lieutenant Commander Stephen Halden Beattie (1908-1975)
A half-length portrait of Lieutenant-Commander Beattie, wearing lieutenant-commander's undress uniform. The sitter took part in the successful raid on St Nazaire, aimed at the destruction of the lock gates of the great dry dock. This was achieved by filling the bows of the ex-American destroyer HMS 'Campbeltown' with explosive and detonating her beside the gates. The raid took place on the night of 27 March 1942, when Beattie commanded the 'Campbeltown'. Although under heavy enemy fire, he steamed in the direction of the lock gate and manoeuvred his ship in the correct position for the destruction of the only German occupied dry dock capable of handling large battleships. At the same time British commandos landed and destroyed the remaining installations. Beattie was subsequently taken prisoner. This portrait was painted in 1944 on a German bed sheet in a prisoner of war camp. Later Beattie was awarded the Victoria Cross, the Legion d'Honneur and the Croiz de Guerre with Palms. Lieutenant Commander Beattie's Victoria Cross is publicly displayed at the Imperial War Museum in London, England.
- Image reference: BHC2536
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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