JUST RECEIVED Nov 12th 2013 …“….never too late to remember…”
Ahoy Friends & Old Salts, On Remembrance Day in Selkirk on the cold Manitoba prairie, as in nearly all Canadian communities, people pause to remember their family members and friends who served during wartime especially those whose lives were lost in battle. For me I recall 19 year old Ordinary Seaman Gordon Berrisford who was lost when HMCS St Croix was sunk by U-305 in the North Atlantic 600 miles east of Newfoundland on the night of 20 September 1943. There were survivors from the St. Croix – picked up HMS Itchen; however, all but one were lost when Itchen was sunk the next day. The sole survivor of St. Croix’s crew was AB William Fisher. There was one survivor from Itchen’s crew. U-305 was itself sunk in action less than four month after the St. Croix sinking – on 17 January 1944. There were no survivors. U-305’s skipper was just 27 years old. David Bercuson and Holger Herwig’s book Deadly Seas gives a detailed account of the ‘duel’ between St. Croix and U-305. The authors also describe how Donitz deployed and re-deployed the u-boats to intercept convoys, the successes and failures of new weapons and tactics, etc. Attached is a copy of the HMCS St Croix Casualty List and a grainy photo of Gordon Berrisford. Gordon was the son of William and Gladys (nee Shead) Berrisford.William was Mayor of Selkirk at the time his son was lost at sea. Gordon was my dad’s cousin.
The Ultimate Sacrifice
I commend to you the newly published 4 volume set of records put out by Bob D’Aoust that lists all the details available on every naval WW 2 casualty. Vol 1 – RCN & WRCNS; Vol 2 – RCNR; Vol. 3 (in 2 vol)s.) RCNVR. Including those who died of illness and accidents. Where available he includes a photo or more, badges, family detail, where buried or commemorated (Halifax Memorial at Pt. Pleasant) Plus details of their ships, the bases, Reserve Divisions, etc. An astounding amount of detail. And he is a genealogist, not in the Navy! Available for c. $150 from him, at 389 Wintergreen Dr., Waterloo, ON, N2V 1L7, or email@example.com Fraser McKee
About the books
These books have been carefully researched and written as a tribute to all Canadian sailors who died serving their country from 1939 to 1947. Each book contains detailed information on all those who died while serving in the Royal Canadian Navy. World War Two has been over for 65 years and we are about to see the passing of another generation. Within the next five years we will lose almost all our veterans who served in the Canadian Navy. These men and women served with the 2,171 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice serving with the three naval groups. Royal Canadian Navy Royal Canadian Naval Reserve Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve Royal Canadian Navy Vol. 1 lists all 397 Royal Canadian Navy personnel who died serving Canada and lists all 11 Wren who also died serving Canada between 1939 to 1947. 444 pages – 8.5×11 inches. Royal Canadian Naval Reserve Vol. 2 lists 234 Royal Canadian Naval Reserve personnel who died serving Canada between 1939 to 1947. 389 pages – 8.5x11nches. Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve Vol. 3 lists all 1,540 Royal Canadian Naval volunteer Reserve personnel who died serving Canada between 1939 to 1947. Part 1 – 614 pages – 8.5×11 inches and Part 2 – 607 pages – 8.5×11 inches
About the author
Robert “Bob” D’Aoust was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, raised in Ottawa, Ontario. He joined NCR Canada in 1963 and retired after 45 years as a Solution Engineer. Bob is a Genealogy Researcher & Book Author. He is the husband to a wonderful wife “Marg, proud dad to Lee-Anne & Iradj, Jason & Vicky. Grandpa to Max Joel von Quernheim. Owner of “Monty” Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
See what is happening across the “pond” with the Loch Class Frigates Association….SPRING 2013 Loch Class Magasine
BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC ‘70th
Overseas, the 70th anniversary was remembered in ceremonies in London, Londonderry/Derry and in Liver-pool and Canadian veterans and serving members of the Royal Canadian Navy attended all. In Derry a large contingent of Canadian veterans and cadets were very much a presence at the commemorative ceremonies, while in Liverpool, HMCS Iroquois and her embarked 423 (Marine Helicopter) Squadron stood alongside our Allies to honour and remember the brave men and women who fought during the Battle of the Atlantic. During the war HMCS Iroquois I patrolled the English Channel, the Bay of Biscay, and the Norwegian coastline, fighting enemy surface ships and submarines. Today’s Iroquois namesake carries her hard earned Battle honours: Atlantic 1943, Arctic 1943-45, Biscay 1943-44, Norway 1945 and Korea 1952-53. 423 Squadron also holds Battle Honours for the Battle of the Atlantic (1942-45). The Squadron operated from Northern Ireland, conducting anti-submarine patrols in Sunderland flying boats out of Castle Archdale under Northern Ireland Coastal Command. Members of HMCS Iroquois’ ship’s company lined the steps of the Anglican Cathedral while the Princess Royal saluted their comrades during the March-Past. During the BOA service, Iroquois’ Commanding Officer, Commander Matthew Coates delivered a reading . A special reception was held at Government House. Additionally, the Province of Nova Scotia honoured Battle of the Atlantic veterans, HMCS Sackville and members of the Trust with the reading of Resolution 815 in the Legislature. Our team was further acknowledged by a prolonged standing ovation by all members of the House and a personal visit by the Premier of Nova Scotia and former naval officer, Darrel Dexter. The resolution was proposed by MLA Andrew Younger representing Dartmouth. RESOLUTION 815
Whereas the first Sunday in May commemorates the 70th Anniversary of the turning of the tide in the Battle of the Atlantic where, in the longest continuous military campaign in history, Allied forces gained the advantage at sea; and
Whereas the Royal Canadian Navy grew from only 3,500 members to over 95,000 over the course of the battle, a battle in which Halifax played a major role as the staging point for military and supply convoys headed to support the war effort in Europe; and
Whereas the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust was established in 1982 to preserve the legacy of Canada’s naval history and protects the World War II Flower class HMCS Sack-ville, the last of Canada’s 123 corvettes, in a Halifax berth not far from where she would have sailed as part of Battle of the Atlantic convoys;
Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic, and recognize the critical contributions that the men and women of Canada’s Merchant Navy, the Royal Canadian Navy, and the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve played in the conflict, and celebrate the efforts of the trustees of HMCS Sackville in ensuring that the sacrifices of more than 3,000 Canadians killed during the battle, as well as those who were wounded and their families they left at home.
NORTHERN IRELAND AND THE REPUBLIC
Pat Jessup – Pilgrimage Co-ordinator The Atlantic campaign, so aptly described by Sir Winston Churchill, “…was the dominant factor all through the war. Never for one moment could we forget that everything happening elsewhere, on land, at sea, or in the air, depended ultimately in its outcome.” This past May in ceremonies on both sides of the Atlantic and across Canada, the 70th anniversary of the turning of the tide during the Battle of the Atlantic was commemorated. In the face of mounting U-boat losses (43 U-Boats sunk and 34 damaged in “Black May” 1943 including U-954 carrying his son Peter) to forces escorting convoys, Admiral Karl Dönitz, Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine, ordered his U-boats to withdraw from the North Atlantic stating, “Radar, and particularly radar location by aircraft had … robbed the U-boats of their power to fight on the surface. … We had lost the Battle of the Atlantic,” he said. Derry, Northern Ireland was a key na-val base during the Battle. Ideally located on the River Foyle it provided safe haven to over 36,000 Allied sailors and 175 warships at any given time and 2,324 survivors rescued from the North Atlantic during the course of the war. The influx of military personnel was so great that it outnumbered the local popula-tion! In May 1945 and in the presence of Sir Max Horton….. 32 German U-Boats formally surrendered at Lisahally in Lough Foyle, three miles upstream. In recognition of its vital role and to participate in its 70th anniversary ceremonies, May 8-12, seventy-five Canadians including veterans, their families, members of the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust, the Atlantic Chiefs and Petty Officers, the Naval Advisor of the Canadian High Commission in London, the Royal Norwegian Consul from Halifax, Officers from the Regional Cadet Support Unit (North-west) and Royal Canadian Sea Cadets from Prairie Region gathered for four days of remembrance in the old walled city. While the weather was at time inclement, nothing could dampen the spirit and camaraderie of our group with representatives from across Canada, from Arizona and Washington DC and Brockweir, England. It was a glorious occasion of exceptional hospitality extended by the Royal Naval Association, our hosts in Derry and by the Ulster Canada Initiative when we attended ceremonies in the Republic. At every turn we were treated like family. It was unfortunate that Earl Chadwick (HMCS Bowmanville), Rodney Carson (HMCS Shawinigan) and his wife Marilyn, George McLeod (HMCS Lanark) and Don Wilcox, who was fourteen years old and aboard the SS Athena when it was torpedoed on 3 September 1939, couldn’t make the trip. Hopefully all will be in good nick when we return to celebrate V-E Day in May 2015 as they were missed. We especially missed our dear friend Gordon Wright (HMCS Swansea), from Edmonton, who passed away in March and who had left a lasting impression during his visits in 2005 and 2011. All our absent friends were present during our ceremonies when Dr. John Dugan, from Red Deer, Alberta laid a wreath in their honour. As we heard so many times in Derry, “haste ye back”, Rodney, George, Marilyn and Don. Sadly, we have just learned that Earl Chadwick has passed away. Our group included five veterans of the Battle of the Atlantic. Rolfe Monteith joined the navy at 17 and served in Arctic convoys on the Murmansk Run. The war took the lives of four school friends and his cousin in Bomber Command and his late wife’s brother when the RN Aircraft carrier HMS Glorious was sunk by the German battle-ships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in June 1940. John Hare, from Oro, Ontario, survived the torpedoing of HMCS Chebogue and attended the ceremonies with six members of his family. Ontario natives Pat Onions from Kincardine and Phil Clappison attending from Waterloo were both members of HMCS Sackville’s original wartime crew. Phil distinguished himself as a young sailor when he detected a problem with Sackville’s boiler and by his quick action stemmed a larger and more serious issue. Phil enriched our archival collection with his wartime photographs of HMCS Sackville. Pat brought his harmonica and when he wasn’t jamming with local bands, shared his experiences onboard when he joined the ship towards the end of the war. Author Don Bowman from Regina, also brought family, Kim and Tammy Calfas who at times could hardly keep up with the energetic historian! Don experienced VE Day celebrations in Derry while alongside in HMCS Edmunston, and unfortunately for him….as he was part of the duty watch that day. You can read about his VE Day observations in this issue and more thoroughly in his thoughtful book My Battle of the Atlantic available now in our gift shop. Each of us brought our own reasons for making the trip. Walt Nichols from Pretrolia, “fulfilled a long held dream.” His late father – also named Walt – an asdic operator in HMCS Jonquiere, “told him stories about Ireland and Londonderry for as long as he could re-member. To be able to step where he stepped and see the sights he saw, nearly 70 years apart gave me a new link to him that will never be broken.” Coincidentally, HMCS Jonquiere and other ships of the 26th Escort Group came to the aid of John Hare’s ship, the Chebogue, when she was hit and severely damaged by an acoustic homing torpedo from U-1227 on 4 October 1944. Rolfe Monteith, served as engineer in destroyers and cruisers, empathised with to those who sailed in the smaller corvettes. “The corvettes were much smaller and the living conditions appalling, with water seeping onto the deck continually. You can imagine the elation of their crews when they would have come into ports like Derry. To see green fields, eat proper food and sleep on a decent bed….they are all things that the veterans speak of.” Ever mindful of the U-Boat menace Rolfe is concerned that the war at sea has gone largely unrec-ognized. “So many people are aware of the Battle of Britain, and its significance in the war, but very few would say the same about the Battle of the Atlantic. Yet, it was the longest-running campaign of the war, and without it there is no doubt that we would have struggled against the Germans.” There are so many highlights of this trip from our first event in an ancient graveyard in Buncrana in the Republic of Ireland remembering the WWI tragedy that took the lives of 22 young Newfoundland sailors, to the unveiling of the International Sailor statue – a replica of our own monument in Halifax, the Royal Marine Band performance, the Service of Remembrance in St. Columb’s Anglican Cathedral, the BOA parade with HRH Prince Michael of Kent taking the salute and finally the laying of wreaths at the Diamond and on the Foyle. Hopefully our photographs and articles by Philip Clappison, Don Bowman and sixteen year old Haggai Lazaro from 344 Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps Victoria in Calgary will give you a glimpse of our trip to remember those sailors in convoys who thwarted the Axis blockade of Britain while facing the U-boat threat and who called Derry their home-away-from-home during the war.
July 11th 2013
William (Bill) Andrew Hughes Rear-Admiral (Ret’d) RCN, CF Died on 11 July 2013, his ten-year battle with multiple myeloma cancer ended. See Obituaries
June 28th 2013
In Memory of Commodore. Andrew C. McMillin CD MCMILLIN, Andrew Clark, Commodore, CD***, RCN (Ret’d) – 87, passed away peacefully at Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital, Fredericton, NB on Thursday, June 27, 2013. See Obituaries
Government of Canada | Gouvernement du Canada
The Honourable Peter MacKay announced a one-time government contribution of $240,000 to the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust in support of the naval memorial HMCS Sackville, and the Canadian Naval Memorial Project. Minister MacKay took the opportunity to announce the contribution of $240 000 in support of the naval memorial HMCS Sackville, and the Canadian Naval Memorial Project. “HMCS Sackville is a witness to our past and reminds us of our Navy’s accomplishments during the Battle of the Atlantic,” said Minister MacKay. “Canadians can be proud of our Navy’s rich heritage and our contribution to preserve the vessel for the benefit of future generations.” “The young men who sailed in the North Atlantic on corvettes like Sackville proved critical to victory in the Battle of the Atlantic, which was the key campaign of the Second World War,” said Vice-Admiral Paul Maddison, Commander Royal Canadian Navy. “I am extremely pleased that the Government of Canada is contributing to the Canadian Naval Memorial Project.” The CNMT was formed with a mandate to preserve the Second World War era Flower-class corvette as a Naval Memorial and museum, providing professional interpretation of the ship within the larger scope of the Royal Canadian Navy’s own history. More information about this announcement see www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/news-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=4672 and about HMCS Sackville and the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust can be found at: www.canadasnavalmemorial.ca
John Jay – Past CNMT Chairman Passes away
Jay, 77, promoted naval history
Windsor resident John Jay, a driving force behind the preservation and promotion of Canada’s naval history and a committed volunteer for many non-profit agencies, has died. He was 77. John Jay’s obituary – The Chronicle Herald
Big plans in store for historic corvette! Chronicle Herald on the plans for the Naval Heritage Centre and the long-term preservation of HMCS Sackville. January 5th 2013 http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/376892-big-plans-in-store-for-historic-corvette and also http://thechronicleherald.ca/editorials/383636-hmcs-sackville-plan-would-be-transformational
Rick Mercer Rant – Thank you Rick Our veterans went through hell and back so we can enjoy the liberties we have today. It is shocking that this would be happening to our vets as they deserve nothing short of our upmost respect and appreciation. A Vignette from our youth for “Remembrance Day” featuring Angus McDonald at the end!
The attached audio is from a story related to the SS Caribou ceremony played on the national CBC Radio Program “In the Field” SS CARIBOU REMEMBERED Talk Radio Host Jordi Morgan of News 95.7 FM radio spoke to Sharon Chandler. She is the daughter of the late Air Commodore Leonard Birchall. He passed at age 89 in 2004. He served 62 years (he had 5 bars on his CD) in the RCAF and Canadian Forces. He was the Commandant of Royal Military College from 1963 to 1967.-friday-november-9-1030am listen to this interview click the play button on the left when the screen appears
“Respect for Corvette: Nation’s naval memorial needs permanent home” by Maj(Ret”d) Tim Dunne Published in the Halifax Chronicle Herald, Saturday the 3rd of November <hr?.
Remembered by a stamp – the ubiquitous corvette:http://talmantips.blogspot.ca/2010/05/canada-1942-20c-corvette-stamp.html Keep in touch with the move of HMCS Ojibwa to Port Burwell, Ontario, soon to be part of the Elgin Military Museum : http://www.projectojibwa.ca/project.aspx Write to the Troops Here is a website to help you boost the morale of our troops overseas.