Russian Convoy hero Cristobal Campos is to be awarded the wartime medal he feared he would never see.
On Thursday we revealed Mr Campos, 98, was facing a race against time after applying to the Russian authorities for the Medal of Ushakov – but had yet to receive it.
Now the East Boldon pensioner’s three-year wait for the official recognition of his valour during the Second World War is about to end.
After being contacted by the newspaper, Russian embassy staff in London promptly got in touch with his family to confirm his medal is ready.
They have even offered to deliver it to his home in Don View, East Boldon, some time this weekend.
Otherwise, they say he can collect it personally from the embassy at a time to be arranged.
The former Merchant Navy mariner said: “I’m delighted that I will definitely now be getting this medal.
“I knew I was entitled to it, but I was beginning to think that it would never arrive in my lifetime.
“I very grateful to the people who raised this issue with the Russian Embassy – it certainly seems to have done the trick.”
He added: “I’d also like to thank the staff at the embassy, who responded so quickly when they realised I had not yet received it.”
Created by the Russians in 1944, the medal is awarded in honour of those who have defended the country in wartime.
Widower Mr Campos, who was born in Spain, worked in the engine room of the steam ship Ocean Viceroy on two convoy trips, in 1943 and 1944.
In 2013, the dad-of-two’s bravery was recognised by the British government, which awarded him the Arctic Star medal.
Around the same time, he applied for the Medal Ushakov when it became available to British veterans.
He is among 3,300 Second World War UK veterans are have believe they are entitled to it, of which 2,000 have so far been granted.
In an email to his family Vadim Retyunskiy, the Third Secretary at the Russian Embassy, confirmed the medal was to hand.
He said: “I have very good news for you. We have received the Ushakov medal for Mr Cristobal Campos this week.
“You can come and collect it from us or wait until we deliver it to you personally.”
Son Michael Campos, 64, a business development manager, of Stanley, Co Durham, said the family had yet to decide how best to receive the medal.