Dudley William Mason GC
Name: Dudley William Mason
Conflict: Second World War
Gazetted: September 8, 1942
Service: Civilian – Merchant Navy
Place/date of birth: Surbiton, Surrey/7 October, 1901
Rank when awarded VC (and later highest rank): Captain
Date of bravery: August, 12-15, 1942
London Gazette citation:
Captain Dudley William Mason, Master, s.s. “Ohio”
During the passage to Malta of an important convoy Captain Mason’s ship suffered most violent onslaught. She was a focus of attack throughout and was torpedoed early one night. Although gravely damaged, her engines were kept going and the Master made a magnificent passage by hand-steering without a compass. The ship’s gunners helped to bring down one of the attacking aircraft. The vessel was hit again before morning, but though she did not sink, her engine room was wrecked. She was then towed. The unwieldy condition of the vessel and persistent enemy attacks made progress slow, and it was uncertain whether she would remain afloat. All next day progress somehow continued and the ship reached Malta after another night at sea.
The violence of the enemy could not deter the Master from his purpose. Throughout he showed skill and courage of the highest order and it was due to his determination that, in spite of the most persistent enemy opposition, the vessel, with her valuable cargo, eventually reached Malta and was safely berthed.
Click here to see full Gazette entry.
Other decorations: Lloyd’s War Medal for Bravery at Sea (1942)
Place/date of death: Brockenhurst, Hampshire/April 26, 1987
Grave/memorials: Bronze bust by Sir Charles Wheeler, RA, in IWM, London
Origin of VC to the Lord Ashcroft collection: Purchased privately, 2023
Current location of VC: Displayed on rotation at The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes exhibition, Imperial War Museum