Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) 2, History and Heritage, 1944-1945

Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) (2) History and Heritage, 1944-1945

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3205248)

Depth charges explode astern of an RCN frigate during trials, January 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3399346)

Naval personnel checking the stowage of depth charges on the quarterdeck of the frigate HMCS Swansea in rough seas off the coast of Bermuda, January 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4950836)

5-inch Gun Breech and Shell HMCS Long Branch, 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3202227)

Gun crew sunbathing on "Y" gun of the infantry landing ship HMCS Prince David, Italy, July 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3519912)

Sailors with HMCS St. Laurent trying on captured German lifebelts, England, August 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3222199)

Lieutenant-Commander Robert P. Welland, D.S.C., Commanding Officer of the destroyer HMCS Assiniboine, England, August 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3396558)

Infantrymen of the 1st Battalion, The Canadian Scottish Regiment, embarking in a Landing Craft Assault (LCA) alongside HMCS Prince Henry off the Normandy beachhead, France, 6 June 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3201129)

Leading Seaman J.B. Cloke (left) of the Royal Canadian Navy Beach Commandos talking with Leading Seaman J. Forsyth aboard a Landing Craft Infantry (Large) en route to France, 20 July 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4950841)

Left to Right: Capt. F.L. Houghton, Capt. A.M. Hope, League of Nations delegate Vincent Massey, Capt. H.T.W. Grant, in front of a 4-inch gun, 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3202203)

A Landing Craft Tank (LCT) bringing casualties out to HMCS Prince David from the Normandy beachhead, France, 6 June 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3223884)

A QF 4.7-inch Mk. IX gun crew of the destroyer HMCS Algonquin piling shell cases and sponging out the gun after bombarding German shore defences in the Normandy beachhead, June 1944.  K. Allen, R. De Guire, G. Day, G. Trevisanutto, J. Van Dyke, A. Irwin, and E. Mathetuk.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3201926)

Gun crews at readiness aboard the destroyer HMCS Chaudiere, Britain, 7 January 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3399680)

Boarding party from the corvette HMCS Chilliwack alongside the German submarine U-744 at sea, 6 March 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3577103)

Signalman Jack R. Starr holding a flag over a 20-mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft gun on board HMCS Chilliwack, which took part in sinking the German submarine U-744 on 6 March 1944.  Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 27 March 1944.  

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3303867)

20-mm Oerlikon Anti-aircraft gunners aboard a Landing Craft Infantry (Large) of the Royal Canadian Navy during a training exercise off the coast of England, May 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3201273)

Gunnery training aboard HMCS Hamilton (I24), tender to HMCS Cornwallis, Deep Brook, Nova Scotia, 10 August 1944. Note the gun crew officer wearing the black webbing around his ankles. Gunnery officers always looked sharp with those on parade. Till someone in Ottawa noted that they weren't in dress regs, so the navy had to stop wearing them. (Regan Chovin)

HMCS Hamilton was armed with three 4-inch (102-mm) guns (3 single mounts), one 3-inch gun, six 21-inch (533-mm) torpedo tubes (2 triple mounts), depth charges.

As USS Kalk, she served the United States Navy in European waters during 1919, returning to America to perform training duties for a few months before being laid up at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1922. Re-commissioned in the American Navy in June 1940, she served briefly with the Neutrality Patrol in the Atlantic before being transferred to the Royal Navy at Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 23 September 1940.  

Commissioned as HMS Kalk, this Town class destroyer was renamed HMS Hamilton at St. John’s, Newfoundland where, on her arrival on 1 October 1940, she was damaged in a collision with her sister-ship HMS Georgetown. She was taken to Saint John, New Brunswick, for repairs and, while being undocked there on 26 October, ran aground and received damage sufficient to lay her up for half a year. She was subsequently offered to the Royal Canadian Navy, re-commissioned at Saint John as a Royal Canadian Navy ship on 6 July 1941, and assigned to Western Local Escort Force. After escorting one convoy, she collided with the Netherlands submarine O-15 at Halifax. Following repairs, she again took up local escort duties, and in June 1943 became a member of Escort Group W-4. She still had not made a transatlantic passage when, in August 1943, she was allocated to HMCS Cornwallis, the naval training establishment in Deep Brook, Nova Scotia, as a training ship.

(DND Photo)

HMCS Hamilton (I24) was paid off on 8 June 1945 at Sydney, Nova Scotia, and broken up at Baltimore, Maryland, the same year.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3526856)

Acting Commander Clarence A. King, D.S.O., D.S.C., Commanding Officer, on the bridge of the frigate HMCS Swansea at sea, February 1944.

Clarence A. King, was born in England.  He served in the British merchant service for a time, then settled in Canada before the First World War. In 1916 he joined the Royal Naval Reserve. He served in "Q-ships" and commanded one of these U-boat killers for the last 15 months of hostilities. During this time he was credited with one sure kill and two probable's. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. When he returned to Canada, Captain King settled in the British Columbia interior. He was operating a fruit farm near Oliver when the Second World War began. He immediately volunteered and was attached to the Royal Naval Control Service on the America West Indies Station, serving in Panama and Bermuda. Early in 1942 he transferred to the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve with the rank of Lieutenant-Commander. He commanded the Bangor minesweeper HMCS Nipigon briefly and then took command of the corvette Oakville, in which he scored a spectacular success against a U-boat in the Caribbean. The German submarine, flushed by an American aircraft, was attacked by the Oakville with gunfire and depth charges and then rammed three times. The corvette was brought alongside the damaged U-boat and a two-man boarding party forced the surrender of the Germans. This exploit brought Captain King the Distinguished Service Order and the United States Legion of Merit, the first U.S. decoration to be awarded to a Canadian during the Second World War. In 1943, Captain King was given command of the frigate HMCS Swansea. On her first convoy trip in March 1944, she helped the River class destroyer HMCS St. Laurent kill a U-boat in the North Atlantic. A month later, HMCS Swansea teamed with HMS Pelican to destroy U-448. It was only a month after Captain King had relinquished command that the Swansea helped to sink a third U-boat. He subsequently commanded the frigates HMCS Prince Rupert and HMCS Runnymede. He was promoted to Captain on 1 Jan 1946, while serving as Staff Officer (Operations) to the Commanding Officer Pacific Coast at Esquimalt. (Crowsnest Magazine Feb 1964, Pg. 22)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3526104)

Commander Clarence A. King, D.S.O., D.S.C., c1943-44.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3222201)

Lieutenant-Commander Robert P. Welland addressing the ship's company upon relinquishing command of the destroyer HMCS Assiniboine, England, November 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3334295)

Lieutenant A.D. Stanley, the Accounts Officer of the destroyer HMCS Algonquin, plotting on a chart, April 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3576286)

Rear-Admiral G.C. Jones, Chief of the Naval Staff, Royal Canadian Navy, St. John's, Newfoundland, 3 February 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3309141)

Officers and men of an unidentified motor torpedo boat of the Canadian-manned 29th Flotilla, Royal Canadian Navy, Ramsgate, England, May 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3587146)

Lieutenant-Commander Alan H. Easton, D.S.C., Commanding Officer of the frigate HMCS Matane, Halifax, Nova Scotia, January 1944. Note the depth charge dispenser behind him.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3572365)

Able Seaman George Howard (left) and Leading Torpedoman Charles Skeggs of HMCS Oakville, who took part in the sinking of the German submarine U-94 on 28 August. Halifax, Nova Scotia, 17 October 1942.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3576681)
Personnel preparing to fire depth charges as the destroyer HMCS Saguenay attacks a submarine contact at sea, 30 October 1941.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3393539)
Firing of a depth charge from the corvette HMCS Pictou at sea, March 1942.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3334300)

Gunnery School, HMCS  Cornwallis, Deep Brook, Nova Scotia, December 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3206297)

Crew of a four-inch gun of the frigate HMCS New Glasgow off the coast of British Columbia, c 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3526015) 

Infantrymen of the North Nova Scotia Highlanders Regiment aboard LCI(L) 135 of the 2nd Canadian (262nd RN) Flotilla during a pre-invasion exercise, England, 9 May 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3303858)

Lieutenant-Commander C.R. "Tony" Coughlin (left), First Lieutenant, and Commander James C. Hibbard (right), Commanding Officer, on the bridge of HMCS Iroquois after a five-hour battle in which eight German ships were destroyed or damaged while attempting to escape from St. Nazaire, France, 21 August 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3238934)

Lieutenant Bob Smith, First Lieutenant, Motor Torpedo Boat 748, 65th Flotilla, Royal Canadian Navy, England, 26 May 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3256713)

Lieutenant I.W. Jessiman, First Lieutenant, aboard a "G"-type motor torpedo boat of the 29th Flotilla, Royal Canadian Navy, England, 19 May 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3534006)

RCN Officer onboard a River-Class frigate at sea, Jan 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3238885)

Stoker(M) E. Nixon, Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR), aboard LCI (L) 121 of the 1st Canadian (260th Royal Navy) Flotilla, England, March 1944. He is wearing the Combined Operations badge.

Combined Operations badge.  Combined Ops was a department of the British War Office set up during Second World War to harass the Germans on the European continent by means of raids carried out by use of combined naval and army forces.  It comprised background staff whose job was to plan operations and to develop ideas and equipment to harass the enemy in any way possible. It also covered all those who worked with landing craft up to and including the landing ships that were used in the various amphibious operations.

The badge of Combined Operations was an Albatross over a submachine gun over an anchor, reflecting the three service arms; the Royal Air Force, the British Army and the Royal Navy. In 1941 the title of Director of Combined Operations was changed to Adviser Combined Operations. In 1942 the title of Adviser Combined Operations was changed to Chief of Combined Operations.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3355763)

Able Seaman Earl Jackson, Royal Canadian Navy Beach Commando "W", at HMS Armadillo, a training, establishment at Ardentinny, Scotland, February 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo,MIKAN No. 3396614)

Lieutenant G.W. Hendry of HMCS Prince Henry briefing his Beach Commandos about the invasion of France, June 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3194343)

CN Lifejackets! This photo shows a casualty being loaded aboard HMCS Prince David on 6 June 1944. The RCN carried out considerable research into life jackets and developed a model that provided excellent flotation and wearability, but what is often overlooked is that it provided a significant measure of underwater blast protection. Considering that underwater explosions often occurred as ship sank, this was significant. Notice also that some lifejackets provide additional support for the head.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3201116)

Commandos loading ammunition aboard a Landing Craft Assault (LCA) of HMCS Prince David near Taranto, Italy, 13 September 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3191729)

Canadian LCI(L)s going ashore on D-Day, 6 June 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3204911)

View looking west along 'Nan White' Beach, showing LCI(L)s of the 2nd and 3rd Canadian (262nd and 264th RN) Flotillas landing personnel of the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade on D-Day.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3191667)

View looking west along 'Nan White' Beach, showing LCI(L)s of the 2nd and 3rd (262nd and 264th RN) Flotillas landing personnel of the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade on D-Day, 6 June 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3396559)

A second section of infantrymen preparing to go ashore from HMCS Prince David off Bernières-sur-Mer, France, 6 June 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3224538)

Naval personnel aboard the frigate HMCS Capilano, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, December 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3224540)

Personnel of the frigate HMCS Royalmount (K677), Londonderry, Northern Ireland, December 1944. HMCS Royalmount was a River-class frigate that served with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She was used primarily as an ocean convoy escort in the Battle of the Atlantic. She was named for Mount Royal, Quebec, however due to possible confusion with HMCS Montreal, her name was switched around.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3203269)

Lieutenant Michael M. Dean (centre) of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit with personnel of the destroyer HMCS Algonquin, which was transporting the staff of the First Canadian Army Headquarters to France, 18 June 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3617556)

Chief Petty Officer Edward Howard, Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR), Coxswain, Motor Torpedo Boat (MTB) 726 of the 65th Flotilla, Royal Canadian Navy, England, 1944. He is standing on the bridge of a D Class Fairmile "Dog boat". (Ian Moore)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3587026)
Radar plotters Able Seamen William Ewasiuk and Harry Henderson of the destroyer HMCS Iroquois, at sea, 21 Aug 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3567195)

Personnel servicing torpedoes at the Royal Canadian Navy Torpedo Depot, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, March 1941.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3567196)

Personnel servicing torpedoes at the RCN Torpedo Depot, Halifax, Nova Scotia, March 1941.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3567054)

Naval ratings studying the components of a torpedo at the Royal Canadian Navy Torpedo School (Royal Canadian Navy Schools), Halifax, Nova Scotia, January 1941.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3567270)

Naval ratings unloading a torpedo before the refit of an unidentified Town-class destroyer of the Royal Canadian Navy, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, March 1941.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3567295)

RCN ratings with a mine aboard the minelaying vessel HMCS Sankaty off Halifax, Nova Scotia, March 1941.  HMCS Sankaty was an ex-PEI ferry with a wide flat stern and rails for minelaying.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3567291)

RCN rating adjusting the wiring of a mine aboard the minelaying vessel HMCS Sankaty off Halifax, Nova Scotia, March 1941.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3225340)
Naval personnel aboard S.S. Miss Kelvin (Harbour Craft 79) witha recovered mine, St. John's, Newfoundland, 13 July 1942.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3394484)

RCN ratings loading a Hedgehog anti-submarine mortar during trials aboard the Corvette HMCS North Bay, Halifax, Nova Scotia, November 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3394476)

RCN ratings loading a Hedgehog anti-submarine mortar during trials aboard HMCS North Bay, Halifax, Nova Scotia, October 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3520751)

View from HMCS Kootenay, which has fired Hedgehog charges during the action in which Escort Group 11 sank the German submarine U-621, 18 August 1944. HMCS Ottawa is visible in the background.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3571062)

RCN rating manning a .50-calibre machine gun aboard HMCS St. Croix at sea, March 1941.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3509541)

20-mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft gun crew at action stations on HMCS Iroquois during a training exercise off Halifax, Nova Scotia, 2 June 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3334316)

Messdeck of the destroyer HMCS Iroquois, Plymouth, England, October 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3220361)

Lieutenant Charles Richardson, Air Defence Officer, HMCS Uganda, April 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3204255)

Leading Seaman Reg Libby working in the low power room of the cruiser HMCS Uganda, when it was serving with the British Pacific Fleet, 6 August 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3191648)

Loading ammunition at sea, HMCS Uganda, 23 June 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3204463)

Ratings manning an anti-aircraft gun aboard HMCS Uganda during a strike by the British Pacific Fleet on the Ryukyu Islands, Japan, April 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3194316)

RCN sailors of the cruiser HMCS Uganda setting shell fuses before the bombardment of Truk, Caroline Islands, 23 June 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3201902)

Defensively Armed Merchant Sips (DEMS) personnel learning to fire an Oerlikon 20-mm anti-aircraft gun, Esquimalt, British Columbia, 15 March 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3577106)

Bofors 40 mm anti-aircraft gun crew on the destroyer HMCS Algonquin at action stations in Arctic waters, 20 April 1944. General Crerar third from the right.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3203268)

Church service aboard the destroyer HMCS Algonquin, which is transporting the staff of 1st Canadian Army Headquarters to France, 18 June 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3203267)

Church service aboard the destroyer HMCS Algonquin, another view, (Left to right in centre): Lt.Cdr. D.W. Piers, Gen. H. D.G. Crerar.  

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3227691)

Splicing the mainbrace: Ordinary Seaman Ernest Weir receives an extra rum ration during Victory over Japan celebrations aboard HMCS Prince Robert, Sydney, Australia, 16 August 1945. Up Spirits... Stand Fast the Holy Ghost.

The rum ration, or "tot", was served from 1850 to 1970 (for the Royal Navy). The Royal Canadian Navy was still issuing until 31 Mar 1972.  The ration consisted of one-eighth of an imperial pint (71 ml) of rum at 95.5 proof (54.6% ABV), given out to every sailor at midday. Senior ratings (petty officers and above) received their rum neat, whilst for junior ratings it was diluted with two parts of water to make three-eighths of an imperial pint (213 ml) of grog. The rum ration was served from one particular barrel, also known as the "Rum Tub", which was ornately decorated and was made of oak and reinforced with brass bands with brass letters saying "The Queen, God Bless Her". Not all sailors necessarily drew their rum: each had the option to be marked in the ship's books as "G" (for Grog) or "T" (for Temperance, if they were members of the Temperance Movement). Sailors who opted to be "T" were given three pence (3d) a day instead of the rum ration, although most preferred the rum.
The time when the rum ration was distributed was called "Up Spirits", which was between 11 am and 12 noon. A common cry from the sailors was "Stand fast the Holy Ghost". This was in response to the bosun's call "Up Spirits". Each mess had a "Rum Bosun" who would collect the rum from the officer responsible for measuring the right number of tots for each mess. The officers did not get a rum ration. (Steam Tug Kerne)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3587056)
Lieutenant Harold Lawrence, HMCS Sioux, 5 April 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3560512)

Signalman Ken Worsencroft, Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR), HMCS Waskesiu, Halifax, Nova Scotia, April 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4950817)

Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service Signaller Irene Cheshire with an Aldis signal lamp, 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3206296)

Lieutenant A.W. Turney in the observer's position of a Grumman Avenger torpedo bomber with  No. 852 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, aboard HMS Nabob, February 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3230534)

Anti-aircraft gunnery practice aboard HMS Nabob at sea, January 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3238329)

HMS Puncher docking at Halifax, Nova Scotia, July 1945. A "Jolly Jack" in khaki battle dress, possibly an acting Petty Officer, and a WRCNS lady on board have been pointed out. HMS Puncher may have been repatriating some from other establishments and ships in the UK or NWE on this voyage.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3526940)

Commander Adelaide Sinclair, Director of the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service, July 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No.  3396623)

Signallers Marian Wingate and Margaret Little of the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service at work, April 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3520086)

Signallers of the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service and Royal Canadian Navy comparing bellbottom trousers, Esquimalt, British Columbia, Canada, 22 February 1944.  Note, the bellbottoms are pressed inside out on the sides.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3205988)

Signallers of the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service and Royal Canadian Navy comparing bellbottom trousers, Esquimalt, British Columbia, Canada, 22 February 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3587147)

Personnel aboard a river-class frigate of the Royal Canadian Navy during workups off Pictou, Nova Scotia, Canada, February 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4950864)

RCN Signals rating hoisting signal flags, c1945.  

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3964054)

American and Canadian troops which took part in the pre-invasion exercises for the Mediterranean Operation, loll around on a LCA as they return to HMCS Prince Henry, 22 Aug 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3303861)

Two officers of HMCS Chicoutimi standing by the gunshield art of the ship's forward gun, Halifax, Nova Scotia, June 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4950884)

HMCS Nanaimo gun shield art,  RCN ratings are cleaning the 4-inch gun and appear to be setting the fuses on ready-use shells on deck, c1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3596854)

Personnel examining the damaged tiller flat of H.M.C.S. QU'APPELLE, England, 16 August 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3256402)

Burial at sea of a seaman from HMCS Algonquin who was killed during the invasion of France, 8 June 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3222993)

Survivors of the minesweeper HMCS Esquimalt, which was torpedoed by the German submarine U-190 on 16 April 1945, disembarking from the rescue minesweeper HMCS Sarnia, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 16 April 1945.

(Murray Marsh Family Photo)

The HMCS Sarnia (J309/190), was a Bangor Class minesweeper. The Bangor Class ships were built in order to replace the old Basset Class minesweepers, as they were larger, faster, had much greater endurance, and burned oil as opposed to coal. As enemy mines were laid only once in 1943 in Canadian waters, the Bangors were used primarily as escorts to coastal shipping or as local escorts to ocean convoys. Sixteen of them, however, assisted in sweeping the approaches to Normandy before D-Day, and stayed to help clear German and Allied minefields in the Channel for some months afterward.

Commissioned at Toronto, Ontario on 13 August 1942, HMCS Sarnia arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 22 September, having escorted a Québec-Sydney convoy en route. She was assigned to Newfoundland Force, and in September 1944 underwent a major refit at Lunenburg, Nova Scotia after which she went to Bermuda for work-ups. On her return to Canada, she was assigned to Halifax Force and, later, to Halifax Local Defence Force until June 1945.

On 15 April 1945, she rescued survivors of HMCS Esquimalt, torpedoed outside Halifax. She then performed miscellaneous duties until paid off on 28 October 1945 at Sydney, Nova Scotia, and laid up at Shelburne, Nova Scotia. In 1946, she was placed in strategic reserve at Sorel, Quebec, and in 1951 reacquired by the Royal Canadian Navy and extensively refitted. She did not re-commission, however, and on 29 March 1958 was transferred to the Turkish Navy to serve until 1972 as Buyukdere.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3213116)

Sub-Lieutenant Leonard Brooks, Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve, a naval war artist, England, 30 May 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3202223)

An injured German seaman being taken aboard HMCS Prince David from an American PT boat in the Mediterranean Sea, August 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3963978)

During the invasion of Southern France, the pennant of an American Admiral flew from a Canadian warship, HMCS Prince Henry, for the first time in history. HMCS Prince Henry was the parent ship to assault craft, and served as the headquarters ship for the landings on the Île du Levant and Île de Port-Cross, preceding the main assault. On the bridge of HMCS Prince Henry is Rear Admiral T.E. Chandler, USN with the Prince Henry's captain, Capt. V.S. Godfrey, RCN of Victoria, B.C. Admiral Chandler was from Washington. August 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3238913)

RCN taking the surrender of the German submarine U-889 off Shelburne, Nova Scotia, Canada, 13 May 1945.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3524644)

RCN rating examining the portable radar detector, direction finder and field strength recorder on the bridge of the German submarine U-889, which surrendered on 13 May 1945. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 25 May 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3526112)

Members of a boarding party from HMCS Matane which accepted the surrender of a German submarine depot ship off the coast of Norway, seen aboard a surrendered German submarine, Loch Eriboll, Scotland, May 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3396566)

Landing party disembarking from HMCS Prince RobertT during the liberation of Hong Kong, c30 August 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233507)

Arrival of the troopship Pasteur in Halifax, carrying returning Canadian Soldiers in 1945.

SS Pasteur was a steam turbine ocean liner built for Compagnie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique. She later sailed as Bremen for Norddeutscher Lloyd. In the course of her career, she sailed for 41 years under four names and six countries' flags.  In 1940, she was commissioned to carry 200 tons of gold reserves from Brest, France to Halifax, Nova Scotia. After the fall of France to Germany, she was taken over by the Great Britain government and placed under Cunard-White Star management. She was used as a troop transport and military hospital ship between Canada, South Africa, Australia and South America, and transported around 300,000 soldiers. She was sometimes called HMTS Pasteur.  Due to her speed, Pasteur normally made her crossings alone and unescorted rather than as part of a convoy. She made one voyage from Glasgow to Halifax with a mixed complement of troops, including officers arranging the transport of 20,000 British troops across Canada and the Pacific to Singapore in October, 1941. She also carried almost 2,000 German prisoners to prisoner of war camps in North America. In addition, she transported prisoners from Suez, Egypt to South Africa. In 1943, she visited Freetown, Cape Town, Durban, Aden and Port Tewfik, and then back to the Clyde and Halifax. She carried 10,000 troops of the British 8th Army Corps and 5,000 US 1st Army Corps troops to the battle of Alamein. Altogether, she carried 220,000 troops, and 30,000 wounded, and traveled 370,669 miles during the war. After the war, Pasteur was used to repatriate US and Canadian troops then returned to her owners in October 1945.

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