THE PRO PATRIA PROJECT
MORGAN George Brotherton
Captain, Mercantile Marine

CITATION
Distinguished Service Order
Gazetted 26 March 1943, p1481
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty while in command of the Ministry of War Transport Awatea. In late 1942 this ship was re-equipped as a Landing Ship Infantry to take part in operation torch, the landings in North Africa. After the initial landings on the night of 7/8 September the Awatea took part in other landings in the port of Bougie. During the landing of troops and supplies, the ship was under ceaseless attack from all types of enemy bombers from airfields in Sardinia. The defence by the crew was such that not only was the ship unscathed, but at least one enemy aircraft destroyed. At 4.30 pm 11 November, the Awatea pulled out of Bougie and came under immediate attack by a new wave of bombers. Despite high speed, evasive tactics and a hail of fire from guns and rockets, the ship was struck by a bomb at 4.55 pm followed by another 4 bombs and two aerial torpedoes, one of which struck aft of the engine room. Fires raged and the Awatea began to settle by the stern and soon sank. Such was the training and seamanship skill of the officers and crew that not one life was lost during the bombing and subsequent abandonment. The outstanding conduct of the crew of this ship was due the powers of command and leadership of Captain Morgan and his own personal bravery was an inspiration to all
(Extracted from an article published in the NZ Sunday Times of
15 November 1992 and other previously published sources)

Distinguished Service Cross
Gazetted

Lloyd's Medal for Bravery at Sea
Lloyd's List & Shipping Gazette, Tuesday, September 5, 1944.
The ship was in port discharging her cargo when a low-level air attack developed but she was not damaged. Later the same day the ship was proceeding on her voyage when she was subjected to further heavy attacks. She was hit by bombs and torpedoes which caused considerable damage and set her on fire. Captain Morgan's courage, leadership and determination were outstanding throughout the fierce and prolonged attacks. His organisation in getting the boats away saved many lives, and his efficient direction of the ship's guns was responsible for destroying two aircraft and damaging others.

AWARDS
Distinguished Service Order
Distinguished Service Cross
1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal
1939-45 Star
Atlantic Star
Africa Star
       North Africa 1942-43
War Medal 1939-45
New Zealand War Service Medal
Lloyd’s Medal for Bravery at Sea

NOTES
Born 3 August 1886, Lyttelton, New Zealand
Died 15 December 1960, Christchurch, New Zealand