On 8 April 1940 in the Norwegian Sea, West Ford, Norway, Lieutenant-Commander Roope commanding HMS Glowworm (1,345 tons) fought an unequal duel with the German cruiser Admiral Hipper (10,000 tons). In the encounter Glowworm was soon battered and burning and eventually, as a last gesture of defiance, her commander decided to ram the cruiser, which resulted in a good deal of damage to the latter. Glowworm then fired one more salvo, scoring a hit, before she capsized and sank. One officer and 30 men were picked up by Admiral Hipper's captain, but Lieutenant-Commander Roope drowned.
Lieutenant-Commander Gerard Broadmead Roope was recommended by his enemy, the Commanding Officer of the Admiral Hipper, Kapitän zur See Heye, who was so impressed by the gallantry of Roope that he wrote via the Red Cross to the British authorities and gave a statement of the valiant courage LtCdr Roope had shown when engaging in a close battle with a much superior ship.
This Victoria Cross is currently in private ownership and is not on public display.