IOW Navy hero returns to scene of escape

A former Royal Navy coder from the Isle of Wight who escaped from a sinking ship in Norway will return to the scene today.

Navy hero to return to scene of escape

A former Royal Navy coder from the Isle of Wight, who escaped a sinking ship in freezing Norway waters, will return to the scene.

Ian Gordon, who is 88-years-old, has been awarded a Heroes Return 2 lottery grant so that he can make a trip to Norway with his wife.

Ian started with the Royal Navy in July 1943 aged 18 and because he was colour blind he was assigned duties such as a coder in naval communications.

In Norway, a mine hit Ian's ship, killing five men and ripping through the quarterdeck and trapping Ian in a small cabin.

The HMS Manxman is the ship that Ian Gordon sailed home on Credit: PA

Ian said:"We knew the ship was sinking and we were really struggling for a while butthanks to Tony Andersen, who was much stronger than I was, we eventually forced the door open just enough for us to get through. It was the most frightening experience of my life."

Ian finally returned home on HMS Manxman in August 1946.

Ian said: "The fjord was a sort of no man's land between the Germans and the Russians. The people there were starving and we were taking food and supplies. We were the leading ship. We got into the entrance of the fjord where we sighted a merchant ship."

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