Sitting at the controls of HMS Dauntless’ 30mm gun, little James Kenworthy looks every inch the Royal Navy sailor.
And as he chats with the weapons engineers on board, it’s obvious the six-year-old knows his stuff.
The ship’s company of the Portsmouth-based Type 45 destroyer opened up their ship to James for an exclusive glimpse of life on board one of the navy’s newest warships.
James wrote to the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, to ask if he could attend the naming of HMS Queen Elizabeth in Scotland earlier this month.
Unfortunately all the tickets for the event had gone — so Adml Zambellas arranged for a personal visit to HMS Dauntless instead.
James, from Derby, said: ‘It has been super.
‘I have been in the hangar and the magazine and I really liked the wardroom because it’s comfy. HMS Dauntless looks really cool. It’s really exciting.
‘I love Portsmouth because it has a lot of ships.
‘I love ships.’
James, who has dreams of joining the Royal Navy when he is older, was taken round every part of the ship, from the flight deck and hangar to the bridge. He enjoyed a glass of squash in the wardroom with the officers and happily climbed into the captain’s chair on the bridge of the destroyer.
As a memento of the day, Lieutenant Alexandra Wale presented James with a cap complete with the HMS Dauntless cap tally.
Lt Wale said: ‘It has been great having James on board.
‘He has been excited and interested in absolutely everything from the bridge to things like the wardroom which we take for granted.
‘It’s nice for us on board to be able to make the extra effort for him.
‘He’s been asking all the right questions and is really bright.’
James’ dad Dave, 49, said his son’s interest in the Royal Navy is inexplicable as they live away from the coast and have little military connections.
‘For some reason he has just been really taken with ships,’ he said.
‘He has really enjoyed himself on board and I just want to say a big thank you to the Royal Navy for arranging it for him and making him feel so special.
‘James is really interested in the Type 45 destroyers because they are new and he is absolutely taken with HMS Queen Elizabeth, the new aircraft carrier.’