TWO able seamen who served on the same ship on D-Day have been reunited 75 years on.

Ernest Green, 93 and of Wareham, and Robert Barnett, 93 and of Christchurch, were both on HMS Redpole when it sailed to Juno beach on June 6, 1944.

They spent three years together on the ship, finally returning home to Dorset in 1946.

However, after stepping off the vessel, the man didn't see each other again – until this week.

The Second World War heroes smiled and shook hands as they met each other at the National Commemorative Event in Portsmouth.

Later, they shared a pint at the pub on board a cruise ship chartered by the Royal British Legion to mark the anniversary. Both men are currently staying on the MV Boudicca, which visited Poole earlier this week.

The veterans told how they waited at anchor for 12 hours on June 6, before proceeding to Juno beach at 4pm.

They were both manning different guns on the ship.

The men finished each other's sentences as they recounted their mission on D-Day, which was to escort a landing craft onto the beach, then return with the empty trooper.

Both Mr Green and Mr Barnett became emotional when discussing how Canadian troops were killed in the water in front of them.

Mr Green, his voice cracking, said: "To see the chaps who were dead in the water.

"I'm sorry, I get emotional when I think of it."

Mr Barnett said: "We couldn't do anything.

"We had picked them up the day before, in the afternoon, on the Isle of Wight."

They then attempted to bring the trooper home.

"We left and were coming back to Portsmouth when the big ship in front of us exploded," Mr Green said.

"She was gone in 15 minutes. The Maid of Orleans. There was 10 of the crew killed.

"We couldn't pull them up because it would have taken us out of the convoy."

Both Mr Barnett and Mr Green said they recognised photographs of each other when they were younger, but not as men in their 90s.

Asked about how they felt to be reunited 75 years on, Mr Green, of Wareham, said: "It is marvellous."

As they parted to go to dinner, Mr Green kissed Mr Barnett's wife Martha Barnett on the cheek and told her: "Look after him for me."