- Second World War (1939-1945)
- H.M.S. Petard (G56), Royal Navy
- Awarded on:
- September 14th, 1943
"For outstanding bravery and steadfast devotion to duty in the face of danger."
On 30 October 1942 Petard, in conjunction with the destroyers Pakenham and Hero, the escort destroyers Dulverton and Hurworth, and an RAF Sunderland flying boat of 47 Squadron based in Port Said, attacked and badly damaged the German submarine U-559. The crew of the U-559 abandoned their vessel, with 7 dead and 38 survivors.
Fasson and Able Seaman Colin Grazier, along with NAAFI canteen assistant Tommy Brown, swam naked to the U-559 and entered the sinking submarine, which had water pouring in through seacocks left open by the Germans. Working in complete darkness, fully aware that the submarine could sink without warning at any time, Fasson and Grazier located documents which Brown carried up to men in a whaler. They continued searching until the submarine suddenly foundered – "sank like a stone,"drowning Fasson and Grazier; Brown survived.
The codebooks that Fasson, Grazier, and Brown retrieved were immensely valuable to the code-breakers at Bletchley Park, who had been unable to read U-boat Enigma for ten months. The captured material allowed them to read the cyphers for several weeks, and to break U-boat Enigma thereafter.
Simultaneously awarded to Able Seaman Grazier