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War hero receives medal 70 years on
8:00am Sunday 11th August 2013 in News
A WAR hero has said he is delighted to finally receive his Arctic Star medal, 70 years after enduring ‘the worst journey in the world’.
Ron Fisher, who will celebrate his 92nd birthday in September, was on HMS Suffolk, the first ship in the Arctic convoy to sight German battleship Bismarck.
The decorated Penketh man, who believes he could be the only survivor left in the town to receive the honour, already had medals for the Atlantic, Burma and Pacific but had to wait many years to see a medal struck for the Russian convoy.
Ron, whose wife Phyl died earlier this year after 68 years of marriage, said: “There are so many of our comrades who are not alive to receive this honour 70 years later.
“There were around 60,000 involved in the Arctic Convoy and only 200 left.
“This medal is in recognition not for what I did so much as those that never made it.
“There was treacherous seas and freezing temperatures but fortunately my ship, the HMS Suffolk, never got torpedoed or bombed so we were the lucky ones who survived.”
Around 3,000 sailors died on the Russian Convoys after facing a gauntlet of German U-boats and warplanes in icy waters.
The missions were dubbed ‘the worst journey in the world’ by Winston Churchill but many Russian Convoy veterans felt aggrieved their efforts were lumped in with the separate Atlantic campaign.
In the mid-1990s the Russian Convoy Club was formed to start a campaign for their own Arctic Star medal, led by Commander Eddie Grenfell, and it was finally struck in December last year.
Ron, whose brother Stan was a driver during the war taking arms to the front, added he finds it difficult to talk about his experiences on the Russian Convoy and still gets tears in his eyes.
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