A Battle of the Atlantic Royal Navy DEMS (Defensivley Equipped Merchant Ships) Gunner Casualty Group of 3 awarded to Able Seaman Frank Burgess, Royal Navy, Killed on the 11th May 1944 when S.M. Empire Heath was torpedoed by U-129, comprising, 1939-45 Star, Atlantic Star, 1939-45 Defence Medal, 1939-45 War Medal, unnamed as issued, contained in glassine packets of issue, Condolence/Bestowal Slip (Frank Burgess), very fine.
Frank Burgess was born in Widnes, Lancashire in 1923. He was rated as Able Seaman in the Royal Navy and was attached to the Steam Merchant Empire Heath as a DEMS Gunner, part of the Gun Crew of a Defensivley Equipped Merchant Ship.
At 14:45 hours on the 11th May 1944 U-Boat, U0129, fired a spread of three torpedoes at the unescorted Empire Heat, east north east of Rio de Janerio but missed. The U-boat surfaced and overtook the vessel despite allied aircraft operating in the area, firing one FAT torpedo at 23:00 hours. Empire Heath sank in 6 minutes and 20 seconds. The Germans rescued the survivors, Chief Steward Frederick Wakeham was taken prisoner and landed at Lorient on the 19th July. The Master, 46 crew members, one passenger and 9 DEMs Gunners were killed.