Skip to comments.Convoy veterans given first Arctic Star medals
Posted on 03/19/2013 4:46:08 PM PDT by the scotsman
'Forty veterans of the World War II Arctic convoys have become the first recipients of a new medal.
Prime Minister David Cameron hailed the men as a "group of heroes", as he presented them with the newly-created Arctic Star.
The Arctic convoys, reportedly called the "worst journey in the world" by Winston Churchill, took supplies to the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1945.
More than 3,000 men died while on the convoys.
Cdr Eddie Grenfell, 93, was given his Arctic Star at a special ceremony in Portsmouth earlier as he was too ill to travel to the ceremony at Number 10 Downing Street.
Convoy veterans were previously eligible for the Atlantic Star but Cdr Grenfell campaigned for 16 years for a specific Arctic medal. Its creation was announced by David Cameron in December.'
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
The worst thing was that the Merchant Seamen who served in a branch of service that was even more dangerous than the RAF, Navy, or Army. But up until recently they were not represented on the Cenotaphs nor where they allowed to march past them on Remembrance Day, because they were considered ‘civilians’. They were treated appallingly considering their job was just as vital to the war effort as those of the armed forces, much more dangerous and yet considerably less glamorous...
My father was a radioman on a freighter sailing back and forth to Murmansk. The Navy probably saved his life when they drafted him and made him a cook on a base near Washington D.C.
One veteran merchant seaman I know who made the Murmansk run complained how the Selective Service drafted him into the Army in 1947, because he failed to serve in the military while he was in the Merchant Marine during the Second World War. No medals, no recognition, just an extra two years in Occupied Japan in the Army.
About 20 years ago my father asked if I saw his metal for the Murmansk run....
I hadn't so he pulls it out and it was in Cyrillic, a metal for service from Russia, and signed by Boris Yeltsen.
My dad passed Sept. 2011.
I still miss our conversations.