Christopher Sherwood, aged 67, from Rotherham, was reminded of his time as a 17-year-old apprentice at Neepsend Steel training centre on Stevenson Road.
In 1971 he was tasked to manufacture components for navy ship HMS Sheffield, also known as The Shiny Sheff.
The Sheffield was the first ship to be lost in combat since World War Two and saw the death of 20 crew with 26 injured.
Chris said: “It just brought it back to my mind, because of all the telly, it being the 40th anniversary since she sank.
“I was in their apprentice shop and somebody contacted the training centre officer, who I think was a lady called Miss Bland.
“They must have been from the admiralty, and they just came to me and said they wanted a Sheffield apprentice to make part of HMS Sheffield,” he explained.
“They asked if I was prepared to make items for the conference room portholes covers.
“They obviously wanted some Sheffield stainless steel and somebody from Sheffield to be part of HMS Sheffield.”
Chris added that they wanted the parts polishing to a mirror finish as well.
“I made 36 for 18 portholes in this particular conference room,” he said. “I wish I’d have made a spare one, and kept it for myself.”
HMS Sheffield is now listed as a war grave at its final resting place in the south Atlantic.
Chris said: “I occasionally thought about it – especially when it first sank. I haven't thought of it for a while though and then, just lately it just jogged my memory with all the coverage of the anniversary.”