Sunderland Trust Volunteer and Royal Navy Veteran Duncan Heys
Royal Navy veteran Duncan Heys has been reunited with his wartime escort vessel – thanks to the skills of a Pembroke Dock model maker.
Duncan, who lives in Neyland, is a Volunteer with the Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust. During World War II he joined the Royal Navy and his first seagoing draft in 1944 was to the American-built Castle class frigate, HMS Hargood.
He remained with the vessel until it was returned to the United States Navy after the war had ended.
While volunteering with the Sunderland Trust, Duncan told fellow volunteer Chris Howell that he had long been searching for a photo and information on HMS Hargood. Within days Chris had found both – and also located a scale model kit of the vessel.
This became one of several winter projects for Chris and the result is a fine model of HMS Hargood displaying her pennant number, K582.
Duncan was presented with the ‘new’ HMS Hargood recently when he joined other wartime veterans at the Sunderland Trust’s Fleets to Flying Boats Visitor Centre in the Royal Dockyard.
Gerry Price of Pembroke Dock, a Navy veteran of Atlantic and Arctic convoys, and former Sunderland flying boat pilot Ron Currell, who lives in Pembroke, took part with Duncan in a series of radio recordings.
The model of HMS Hargood, and the story behind it, are now displayed in the visitor centre and prompted considerable interest during the town’s recent Battle of the Atlantic Anniversary Weekend.
Chris – a member of the Penfro Model Group – has ‘personalised’ the model incorporating miniature signal flags which read ‘DUNCAN’.