Commander Fraser refers to his service medals as "Squeak" and "Wilfred". These were nicknames for the the British War Medal and the British Victory Medal of World War I. (Note: The 1914 Star and the 1914-15 Star star were nicknamed "Pip". The three names come from the names of characters in a Daily Mirror cartoon strip.)
The ship portraying H.M.S. Ballentrae was actually H.M.S. Leamington. She was Lend Leased to the U.K. as one of the fifty Lend Lease destroyers in 1940. In an interesting twist, she was further loaned by the British to the Soviets in 1944, and named Zhguchi. She was returned in to the British in 1950 and scrapped in 1951. She was used for the set of this movie prior to scrapping.
The film is loosely based on the actual raid undertaken in 1942 by H.M.S. Campbeltown, in which the ship, loaded with explosives, rammed and subsequently destroyed the dock gates at the French port of Saint-Nazaire. This was the only dry dock outside of Germany able to accept and repair the German battleships Tirpitz and Bismarck.
The dedication states: "In 1940 when Britain was fighting alone for her life, the United States transferred fifty of her destroyers to the Royal Navy. This picture is respectfully dedicated to their exploits and is very broadly based on the adventures of one of these destroyers."