Gordon Charles Steele
|Gordon Charles Steele|
|Born||1 November 1891
|Died||4 January 1981 (aged 89)
|Buried at||All Saint's New Cemetery, Winkleigh|
|Battles/wars||World War I
Russian Civil War
World War II
Captain Gordon Charles Steele VC (1 November 1891 – 4 January 1981) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
On 18 August 1919 at Kronstadt, Russia, Lieutenant Steele was second-in-command of Coastal Motor Boat 88. Steele’s boat became illuminated by an enemy searchlight. Very heavy machine gun fire followed immediately, the Captain being killed and the boat thrown off course. A British aircraft saw the problem, dived on the searchlight and put it out with gunfire. Lieutenant Steele took the wheel and steadied the boat, lifting the dead officer away from the steering and firing position, and successfully torpedoed the battleship Andrei Pervozvanny at 100 yards range. He then manoeuvred the CMB in a very confined space to get a clear shot at the other battleship Petropavlovsk before making for the safety of the bay.
He later achieved the rank of Captain and served in the Royal Navy during World War II. In 1940 he met, by chance, and for the first time, the pilot of the aircraft (by now Group Captain Fletcher, RAF) who had attacked the searchlight.
- Claude Congreve Dobson - won VC in same action
- Augustus Agar - won VC in same campaign in similar action
- Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
- Gallant Gentlemen (Keble Chatterton)