Portsmouth navy destroyer honours Arctic Convoy heroes

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SAILORS from a Portsmouth destroyer have helped honour a band of war heroes.

HMS Dragon hosted a ceremony honouring the 75th anniversary of the Arctic Convoys.

The ship’s company welcomed the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones, and 35 Royal Navy and Merchant Navy veterans on board.

Among the VIPs to visit the Type 45 included Jim Simpson, 94. He served in HMS Devonshire during the war and left the navy in 1946.

Speaking of his time aboard Dragon, he said: ‘It was a super day. Being on board a Royal Navy ship again made the memories flood back.

‘I’m wondering if they still need recruits.’

The Arctic Convoys’ wartime route was littered with Nazi U-boats and was described by Sir Winston Churchill as the worst journey in the world.

Some 3,000 seafarers lost their lives in the convoys and one in every 20 vessels taking on the route was sunk by German forces.