Skip to main Content
Alaska Beat

WWII Arctic convoy veterans seek recognition for 'most dangerous journey in the world'

  • Author: Craig Medred
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published November 11, 2012

The BBC reports that the British World War II soldiers who crossed the Arctic to bring supplies to Russia are asking their government for recognition in undertaking what Winston Churchill called "the most dangerous journey in the world."

The Arctic convoys battled deathly-cold temperatures and 70-foot waves to take supplies to the former Soviet Union.

"I was more scared of the weather than the enemy," Herbert MacNeil, 86-year-old veteran told the BBC.

MacNeil has been honored by the Russian government four times, most recently in 2010. But in the UK, the Arctic sailors received the same medal as those running Atlantic convoys, receiving little recognition from the government.

"They gave us an Atlantic medal it was like giving us something from a corn flake packet." MacNeil said.

He cites death-defying waves, frozen clothes and frigid temperatures as part of the "terrible conditions" the convoy faced.

Prime Minister David Cameron said Wednesday during Prime Minister's Questions that he had "every sympathy" for the veterans, stating that a general review of the medals would be conducted, with emphasis on the Arctic convoys.

Read more, here.

For more newsletters click here

Local news matters.

Support independent, local journalism in Alaska.