Ron Russell originates from Blackburn, Lancashire. He volunteered on June 3rd 1943 and entered the Navy by choice. He lied about his age and joined when he was just 17. No documents were requested, they just took him at his word that he was of legal age. He had many friends who were older and had already joined the other services. Ron was sent to Cornwall for basic training, and chose to be a Seaman/Torpedoman by choice, although he had been an apprentice electrician. He joined the HMS Fernie, a destroyer, on East Coast patrols off the French Coast hunting the German navy. He was attached to the 1st Destroyer Flotilla. Ron was anchored off the Isle of Wight, set sail on June 5th 1944, had to turn back, and left again on the 6th, landing at Sword Beach. The Fernie was an escort to a convoy of ships containing ammunition, troops, fuel and other supplies. Salvos of shells were fired onto the shore under the direction of the army to various populated locations along the shoreline. Ron left the HMS Fernie in September ’44 and went to the HMS Defiant for another torpedo course, then joined HMS Camperdown, a new Battle Class Destroyer. Along with HMS Trafalgar, they did trials off Scotland, then sailed to the Far East and joined the Pacific Fleet in 1945. He went to Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Darwin, Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand before being demobbed in 1946.
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