A Royal Navy vet has been given a medal by Vladimir Putin for his service to supply Russia in WWII.
A proud Royal Navy veteran has received a rare medal from the Russian military for his courageous service during the Second World War’s Arctic Convoys.
Mr Jim Bates, who served as an Able Seaman on board the destroyer HMS Wilton, has been awarded the Ushakov medal, verified by no less than Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Jim, the president of the Burnley and Padiham Royal British Legion, received the medal from Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle who collected it from the Russian Embassy in London.
Sabden-born Mr Bates (93) said: “I am very proud to receive this medal after so many years. Last year, our government finally decided to award us the Arctic Star and now we have received this.
“I just feel sorry for all the lads who didn’t live to receive the medal, either being killed during the war or dying in the years since.”
The Arctic Convoys saw about 1,400 merchant ships deliver essential supplies to the Soviet Union under the Lend-Lease programme, escorted by ships of the Royal Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, and the U.S. Navy.
“It was a rough time. We were bombed from the air and by U-boats nearly all the way once we left British waters.
“It was extremely cold and we had a few close shaves but it was so important. We were taking arms and food out to the Russians and taking their timber back to Britain.
“The convoys helped the Russians to beat the Germans in the East so it was vital to the war effort.”
To read the complete article, see:
Russian president Vladimir Putin honours war hero Jim
Wayne Homren, Editor
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