The merchant services of the Allied nations contained some of the greatest unsung heroes of World War II. Repeatedly they faced death as they carried vital war cargoes around the world. It was not uncommon for seamen to be sunk several times and still return to sea in a new ship, although many did not get a second chance. In the British merchant marine alone, about 30,000 seamen died between the outbreak of war and the surrender of Japan in 1945, most deaths being caused by U-boat sinking’s. If a ship sank, the boats were hardly much of a refuge, especially in harsh Arctic conditions. Often, the crews of Allied ships were a tough bunch. The Panamanian registered Troubadour, part of PQI7, was made up of men from 17 nations, including ex-convicts. Soviet merchant personnel also distinguished themselves in the Arctic convoys, notably the crew of the tanker Stari Bolshevik, who saved their ship from serious fire after being hit in PQ16. The captain and first officer were made Heroes of the Soviet Union and the ship was awarded the Order of Lenin. Many members of the crews of Soviet merchant ships were women. On the lanker Azebaijan, which distinguished herself in PQI7, the captain was married to the chief engineer! The aftermath of a convoy attack, three survivors of a merchant ship await an approaching U-Boat.