PQ 13 and Frozen Fury

PQ 13, Frozen Fury, further reading, this original painting was commissioned by and for one of the former crew.

Convoy PQ19 attacked by JU 88's
Convoy PQ19 attacked by JU 88’s
PQ 13, Frozen Fury by Gordon Frickers 40 x 50 cm (16″ x 20″) SOLD

Commissioned by an eye witness of PQ 13, Mr. H. Mills.

PQ 13 was the first of many Russia bound convoys to feel the full fury of German attacks.

Only the more famous Malta convoys suffered as severely.

“I was much to excited to hit anything” said Mr. H. Mills.

He was aged 18 found himself manning the port bridge wing machine gun defending his merchant ship by firing a heavy machine gun at Ju 88 bombers …

Paintings original cost

A neat little investment.

PQ 13 Frozen Fury recently resold for four times the original price.

I originally trained as an art photographer so know well photographs and videos can be great however, no other image surpasses a painting by a distinguished artist.

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PQ13 :

PQ13 was one of the most heavily attacked of all convoys, ever.

Harry told me, “3 days later my ship was sunk and I lost a leg“.
His ship, a British fast cargo vessel, the “New Westminster City” was Harry said, specially outfitted in the USA for the voyage.
The work included concrete facings with ‘pill box’ style viewing slits for the bridge, an increased anti aircraft  armament and trained gunners to man the weapons systems.

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N W C IMG_0004_NEW

New Westminster City as she appeared in peacetime pre World War Two.

Mr. H. Mills

and I worked closely to produce a scene he as an eye witness, was satisfied with.

Mr. H Mills sketch 1
Mr. H Mills sketch 1

My client who fired at the attackers said he was “much to excited to hit anything“, was aboard “New Westminster City”.

New Westminster City 2
New Westminster City 2
Mr Mills version, Ship NWC arms plan
Mr Mills version, Ship NWC arms plan

The ship illustrated in my painting here as PQ 13 is being attacked by JU 88s.

Mr Mills version, Ship bridge 'armour' NWC plan
Mr Mills version, Ship bridge ‘armour’ NWC plan

an 18 year old Harry Mills action station duty station was bridge port side wing heavy machine gun.

Mr. H Mills sketch 3
Mr. H Mills sketch 3

My efforts to produce the best most original painting I could include building and painting a scale model of a Ju 88.

Two days later New Westminster City became another casualty of the battle to supply Russia and my client, now deceased, then aged 18, lost a leg.

This is a relatively early period Gordon Frickers marine painting.

None the less interesting, both as an early example of emerging artistic talent and because it was composed from and with a survivor from the sunken “New Westminster City“.

This very original painting was developed in part from ‘naïve’ sketches provided by my client.

New Westminster City sketch 4
New Westminster City sketch 4 with first comments
New Westminster City sketch 5
New Westminster City sketch 5

T39316 det 1

The cruiser HMS Edinburgh is part of the background.


PQ 13, Frozen Fury the book

Years later the painting was reproduced as a book cover at the request of Captain Igor Kozyr (Russian navy, retired) who was co authoring with an American, John L. Haynes a book called “Frozen Fury”, a personal account of convoy PQ13.

T39316 det 3

This was the first convoy to Murmansk to feel the full fury of German attacks on that route.


Frozen Fury, (ISBN 978-1-4512-0156-7).
Captain Igor Kozyr asked me if he could use my PQ 13 painting, an early example of my art, produced for and with an eye witness, as the cover for the Russian version of the book (ISBN 9-785904-180379). Frozen Fury D 05.04.15_0001


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The convoy is also the subject of another book, “The Ship That Torpedoed Herself”, HMS Edinburgh.

Mr. H. Mills letter
Mr. H. Mills letter


There is more to this story, I still have but have not written up fully his and my remarkable original notes and sketches and of course, the awesome book Frozen Fury for you to read.

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Gordon Frickers © updated 13.12.2021

This Gordon Frickers art signature is on all my more recent paintings.