The ship was set on fire by the explosion of a torpedo during an attack by enemy aircraft. The flames spread rapidly and almost immediately orders were given to abandon ship. One of the ship’s gunners, however, was pinned under a raft. Apprentice Gregson immediately went to his assistance and, with help freed him. The gunner had sustained severe injuries and, as it was impossible to get him into a boat or onto a raft, he was dropped overboard. Gregson dived into the sea after him, an, in the darkness, towed his helpless shipmate to a ship which picked them up, a distance of about 600 yards.
But for Apprentice Gregson’s gallant and determined action, undertaken with complete disregard of his own personal safety, the injured man would have had little chance of survival.