b. 07/05/1944 Wyong, NSW, Australia. d. 10/02/1964 off Nowra, NSW, Australia.
DATE OF AM ACTION: 10/02/1964 off Nowra, NSW, Australia.
Kerry Francis Marien was born on 7 May 1944 at Wyong, NSW. He grew up in Grays Point, in southern Sydney, and was educated at Marist Brothers College at Kogarah. He joined the RAN College, at Jervis Bay, as a Cadet Midshipman in January 1960. He graduated from the College in 1963 and gained his colours for tennis. Kerry Marien was promoted to Midshipman in September 1963 and undertook training in the aircraft carriers HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Sydney in late 1963. He joined the Daring class destroyer HMAS Voyager, for further training, in early January 1964.
On the night of 10 February 1964, Voyager was at sea, off the south coast of NSW, exercising in company with the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne when the two collided at approximately 21:00 that evening. Voyager was cut in half by the force of the collision. Marien, along with others, managed to get clear of the aft section of the stricken vessel and into one of Voyager’s inflatable life rafts. Midshipman Marien noticed other survivors in difficulty in the water around him and chose to re-enter the water to render assistance.
The last person to see Midshipman Marien alive reported that he swam up to him and asked whether he needed any help. On replying that he did not, he saw Marien swim in the direction of the severed forward part of the ship; which it is thought he may have entered. The forward section sank soon after and Midshipman Marien was not seen again. His body was never recovered and he was one of the 82 men from Voyager listed as missing or killed that night.
In recognition of his gallantry in attempting to save life at sea Midshipman Kerry Francis Marien was posthumously awarded the Albert Medal Second Class (Bronze) on 19 March 1965. His medal is currently on display in the museum at HMAS Creswell, Jervis Bay, NSW.
Electrical Mechanic (Electronics) First Class William Joseph CONDON, R. 47279. Midshipman Kerry Francis MARIEN, Royal Australian Navy.
BURIAL LOCATION: BODY NOT RECOVERED.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: HMAS CRESWELL MUSEUM, JERVIS BAY, NSW, AUSTRALIA.