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War convoy heroics are honoured
8:00am Friday 6th September 2013 in Local
A STOURPORT Royal Navy veteran has received a treasured campaign medal recognising his bravery in the Russian Arctic convoys during the Second World War.
Grandfather Fred Jinks, 87, has been awarded the Arctic Star for his services on the destroyer HMS Oroby in 1942 – 71 years after taking part in the dangerous operation.
The sailors worked through horrendous conditions to keep supplies flowing to the Soviet Union after being invaded by Hitler’s Germany.
Mr Jinks, who now lives in Dunley Hall Residential Home, was called up aged 18 and ordered to report to HMS The Royal Arthur, which turned out to be Butlin’s holiday camp,Skegness.
He was a signaller aboard the HMS Oroby and skilled in the use of both flag signalling system semaphore and the Aldis signal lamp.
The ship was tasked with protecting vital supply convoys into Arctic waters as they delivered essential war supplies. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill dubbed the voyage “the worst journey in the world”.
More than 3,000 people died on the missions, which saw convoys brave severe weather and navigate through ice fields, as ships ran a gauntlet of enemy submarines, air and surface ship attacks to keep Russia supplied and fighting at the Eastern Front.
The Arctic Star was only issued last year after a near 70-year campaign by veterans to have their service recognised.
Mr Jinks, who has three children, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren, received his medal earlier this year.
He said: “I feel very proud and happy to recognised after all these years.”
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