Rememberance Week: Remembering HMCS Athabaskan

November 11, 2011, 11:11

This blog all started in 2009 to pay homage to the sailors of HMCS Athabaskan, the Unlucky Lady.

Before my wife’s uncle said he was part of the crew on that faithful night of April 29, 1944, I did not know HMCS Athabaskan ever existed. I have always been interested in the history of WW II, but mostly about airplanes.

This is how I came about to write about the Athabaskan and that I decided to write this blog.

I did not find my wife’s uncle’s name in the book Unlucky Lady.

There is a list of the sailors who sailed that day.

 I also could not identify him in these two pictures that Herm Sulkers’ son sent me last year in an e-mail.

 

These are the sailors whose relatives wrote me since 2009 and sent me pictures to share with my readers.

Jim L’Esperance

Sydney A. Cottrell

Louis Ledoux

Louis Senecal

Stanley Dick

Douglas Laurie

Jack Forron

L. Murchison Gordon

Jack Edwards

John Cameron Adams

Russell Knight

Herman Sulkers

PO G. E. Cooper

John Clark Roberts

This blog is about sharing.

Nothing else.

No donation…

The veterans have given enough…

This week someone posted a comment on this blog.

It was about an article I wrote on sailors who were on HMCS Regina…

Click here to read it.

Our father (still alive (age 86) and living in Port Hope Ontario served on HMCS Regina K234 and survived her sinking. He lost many friends and shipmates that night.
On a recent visit to the UK (September 2011) we had the honour and priviledge to visit the graves of five of these brave men in Cornwall, UK. We paid our respects and gratitude to AB Saulnier, Rathbone at St Merryn near Padstow and PO. Cramp, AB Dawson and AB Malone at St Winwaloe Churchyard. Poundstock. UK.
I am in the process of trying to find their descendants.
Have many photographs of their graves and the church areas. Willing to send to anyone interested.
Also remember there are 25 men from Regina who are still out there.
Sincerley, John Hawly, Cole Harbour, NS

John wrote me again.

He is not to savy about blogs and Facebook.

Neither am I.

On another note, Dorothy sent me this.

She said I could share it…

Dear Pierre,

I have more information on the sinking of the Athabascan, my first cousin
Norman Barrie was on the Haida that pick up the survivors, John (Jack Edwards)
my neighbour was one of the survivors.

They stayed friends until their deaths. This I learned this year, as I had been in contact with Norman’s wife Marg. John’s wife had moved to Victoria this year and Marg didn’t know about that.

I got in contact with John’s wife Doreen and had her contact Marg.

The Edwards family attended the Anniversary of the Navy in Victoria in 2010.

Dorothy Orchuk Brodeur.
Edmonton, Alberta

Lest we forget…

Source: http://www.naval-history.net/xDKCas2510-RCN.htm#date

29 April 1944

Athabaskan (RCN), ship loss (above – Photo
Ships)

ADAMS,
John C, Able Seaman, V 17001 (RCNVR), MPK

AGNEW,
John, Able Seaman, V 1383 (RCNVR), MPK

ALLISON,
Albert E, Able Seaman, V 8402 (RCNVR), MPK

AMIRO,
Irvin V, Telegraphist, V 26054 (RCNVR),
killed

ANNETT,
Robert I L, Sub Lieutenant (E), RCN, killed

ARMSTRONG,
George A, Able Seaman, V 12833 (RCNVR), killed

ASHTON,
Percy G, Able Seaman, V 31508 (RCNVR), MPK

BARRETT,
Arthur E, Able Seaman, V 12346 (RCNVR), killed

BELL,
Donald A, Stoker 1c, V 53224 (RCNVR), killed

BERKELEY,
Alfred G, Ordinary Seaman, V 54498 (RCNVR), MPK

BERTRAND,
Laurent J L, Chief Petty Officer, 2408 (RCN), killed

BIANCO,
Anthony D, Able Seaman, V 34263 (RCNVR), MPK

BIEBER,
Edgar E, Stoker Petty Officer, V 9844 (RCNVR), MPK

BLINCH,
Harry C, Able Seaman, 4265 (RCN), MPK

BRANDSON,
Thomas L, Paymaster Lieutenant, RCN, MPK

BRIGHTEN,
Victor H, Engine Room Artificer 2c, 21930 (RCN), MPK*

* information from a reader

Pierre

 In speaking to my dad this morning, two things emerged. The website shows Vic Brighten’s rank as ERA. He was in fact Chief ERA. He had just replaced Ernie Mills, and was therefore no supposed to be aboard, but the changeover took longer than expected so he stayed aboard for the extra 2 days.

Doug

BURROW,
William O, Leading Seaman, V 7988 (RCNVR), MPK

CHAMBERLAND, Paul H A, Able Seaman,
V 3677 (RCNVR), killed

COOKMAN,
Edgar A, Leading Seaman, 3210 (RCN), MPK

COONEY,
Stewart R, Steward, V 35579 (RCNVR), MPK

CORBIERE,
Vincent G, Able Seaman, V 34003 (RCNVR), MPK

CORKUM,
Gordon F, Able Seaman, A 1169 (RCNR), killed

COTTRELL,
Sydney A, Able Seaman, V 18362 (RCNVR), killed

CROFT,
Moyle H, Able Seaman, A 4958 (RCNR), MPK

CROSS,
Alfred T, Ordinary Telegraphist, V 25039 (RCNVR),
MPK

DEARMOND,
Gordon L, Leading Seaman, V 11568 (RCNVR), MPK

DILLEN,
Stewart C, Steward, V 34261 (RCNVR), MPK

DION,
Albert J G, Leading Stoker, V 3373 (RCNVR), MPK

EDHOUSE,
Donald W, Stoker 2c, V 58286 (RCNVR), MPK

FLEMING,
Harold L, Able Seaman, V 12849 (RCNVR), MPK

FORRON,
Jack E A, Stoker 1c, V 17506 (RCNVR), MPK

FRALICK,
Earl I, Able Seaman, V 31885 (RCNVR), MPK

FRITH,
William A, Leading Seaman, V 17806 (RCNVR), killed

FULLER,
Eugene M, Able Seaman, V 8808 (RCNVR), killed

GAETANO,
Valentino J, Able Seaman, V 35858 (RCNVR), MPK

GIBBONS,
Marshall L, Able Seaman, V 51109 (RCNVR), killed

GOLDSMITH,
Thomas H H, Chief Yeoman of Signals, 2980 (RCN),
killed

GORDON,
Lloyd M, Able Seaman, V 1267 (RCNVR), MPK

GOULET,
Robert J, Stoker 1c, V 42673 (RCNVR), MPK

GRAINGER, Roy J, Leading Supply Assistant, V 17877 (RCNVR), MPK

GUEST,
Earlton G, Able Seaman, V 17487 (RCNVR),
killed

HAYES,
Christopher, Ordinary Seaman, V 34625 (RCNVR), MPK

HEATHERINGTON, John T, Stoker 1c, V
31647 (RCNVR), MPK

HENRY,
Robert J, Able Seaman, V 16777 (RCNVR), killed

HEYMANN,
Hans P (also known as Hugh P Heaton), Writer, C/MX 678680, MPK

HOUISON,
George D, Leading Writer, V 23114 (RCNVR), MPK

HURLEY,
Michael P, Stoker 1c, V 36734 (RCNVR), MPK

IRVINE,
Leonard C, Able Seaman, V 11886 (RCNVR), killed

IZARD,
Theodore D, Lieutenant (E), RCN, MPK

JARVIS,
Edmund A, Leading Seaman, 3330 (RCN), MPK

JOHNSON,
Elswood S, Able Seaman, V 16839 (RCNVR),
MPK

JOHNSON,
Richard R, Leading Stoker, V 5801 (RCNVR), MPK

JOHNSTON,
Lawrence R, Able Seaman, V 51370 (RCNVR), killed

KELLY,
Lionel D, Steward, V 4445 (RCNVR), MPK

KOBES,
John R, Leading Seaman, 3074 (RCN), MPK

LAMOUREAUX, Andre, Leading Seaman,
V 4348 (RCNVR), MPK

LAWRENCE,
Ralph M, Lieutenant, RCN, MPK

LEA, Eric
E, Stoker 1c, V 47397 (RCNVR), MPK

LEDOUX,
Louis, Able Seaman, V 4433 (RCNVR), killed

LEWANDOWSKI, Stanley S, Stoker 2c,
V 61813 (RCNVR), MPK

LIND,
Mekkel G, Stoker Petty Officer, V 13918 (RCNVR),
MPK

LOVE,
Walter Mc, Engine Room Artificer 3c, V 8030 (RCNVR), MPK

LUCAS,
Donald O, Stoker 2c, V 60018 (RCNVR), MPK

MACAVOY,
Gerald W, Petty Officer Cook (O), 40500 (RCN), MPK

MACDONALD,
Ashley K, Able Seaman, 3625 (RCN), MPK

MACKENZIE,
Alexander, Able Seaman, V 19875 (RCNVR), MPK

MAGUIRE,
John W, Leading Stoker, 40911 (RCN), killed

MAHONEY,
John D, Lieutenant (Sp), RCN, killed

MANSON,
John L, Cook (O), V 23559 (RCNVR), killed

MATTHEWS,
George H, Able Seaman, V 2809 (RCNVR), MPK

MCBRIDE,
John L, Able Seaman, V 45461 (RCNVR), killed

MCCARROLL,
Thomas G, Stoker 1c, V 39522 (RCNVR), MPK

MCCRINDLE,
William D, Able Seaman, V 1854 (RCNVR), MPK

MCGREGOR,
William, Leading Stoker, V 30291 (RCNVR), killed

MCLEAN,
Daniel H, Able Seaman, V 14742 (RCNVR), MPK

MCNEIL,
John J, Stoker 2c, V 59518 (RCNVR), killed

MEADWELL,
Richard G, Able Seaman, V 49203 (RCNVR), MPK

MENGONI,
Eric J, Able Seaman, 3980 (RCN), MPK

METCALFE,
Donald I, Electrical Artificer 3c, V 11603 (RCNVR), MPK

MILLAR,
Victor, Able Seaman, V 27555 (RCNVR), MPK

MILLS,
Ernest G, Chief Engine Room Artificer, 21508 (RCN), MPK

MUMFORD,
Leonard K, Engine Room Artificer 4c, V 42353 (RCNVR), MPK

NASH,
Robert A, Sub Lieutenant, RCN, killed

NICHOLAS,
Joseph R, Leading Stoker, V 16615 (RCNVR), MPK

OUELLETTE,
Joseph E V, Able Seaman, V 50769 (RCNVR), MPK

PEART,
Hilbert J, Able Seaman, A 927 (RCNR), MPK

PHILLIPS,
John D, Able Seaman, V 19152 (RCNVR), killed

PIKE,
Brenton J, Able Seaman, V 36417 (RCNVR),
killed

POTHIER,
Charles L, Able Seaman, V 4752 (RCNVR), killed

RENNIE,
John E, Petty Officer, 3075 (RCN), MPK

RIENDEAU,
Joseph A L, Able Seaman, V 6869 (RCNVR), killed

ROBERTS,
John C, Engine Room Artificer 4c, V 41069 (RCNVR), MPK

ROBERTS,
Raymond L, Able Seaman, V 10880 (RCNVR), killed

ROBERTSHAW, Eric, Able Seaman, V
8634 (RCNVR), killed

ROBERTSON,
Ian A, Able Seaman, V 33909 (RCNVR), killed

ROBERTSON,
William, Stoker 1c, V 55418 (RCNVR), MPK

ROGER, Leo
A, Stoker 1c, V 38426 (RCNVR), killed

ROLLS,
Raymond B, Able Seaman, V 34863 (RCNVR), killed

RUTHERFORD, Norman W, Petty Officer
Radio Mech, P/MX 124283, MPK

RYAN,
Norman V, Able Seaman, V 52603 (RCNVR), MPK

SAMPSON,
Francis L, Able Seaman, V 174 (RCNVR), killed

SANDERSON,
Earl H, Able Seaman, V 34973 (RCNVR), MPK

SENECAL,
Jean G L, Able Seaman, V 15272 (RCNVR), killed

SHERLOCK,
Albert V, Steward, V 861 (RCNVR), MPK

SIGSTON,
George D, Gunner, RCN, MPK

SINGLETON,
John C, Able Seaman, V 17334 (RCNVR), MPK

SKYVINGTON, Francis G, Sick Berth
Attendant, V 46829 (RCNVR), MPK

SOMMERFIELD, Samuel W, Able Seaman,
V 32952 (RCNVR), MPK

SOUCISSE,
Paul E, Coder, V 836 (RCNVR), MPK

ST
LAURENT, Joseph L M, Able Seaman, V 37192 (RCNVR), MPK

STEVENSON,
Elmer H, Stoker 1c, V 53221 (RCNVR), MPK

STEWART,
John L, Able Seaman, V 1362 (RCNVR), MPK

STEWART,
William G, Signalman, V 8866 (RCNVR), MPK

STOCKMAN,
Ernest O, Lieutenant (E), RCN, MPK

STUBBS,
John H, Lieutenant Commander, RCN, killed

SUTHERLAND, John W, Able Seaman, V
12533 (RCNVR), MPK

SWEET,
Charles E, Chief Petty Officer, 2563 (RCN), killed

THOMPSON,
Harry, Stoker 1c, V 38485 (RCNVR), MPK

TUPPER,
Allister R, Ordnance Artificer 4c, V 40751 (RCNVR),
MPK

VAIR,
James A, Leading Steward, A 4980 (RCNR), MPK

VEINOTTE,
Joseph V W, Supply Petty Officer, V 25606 (RCNVR), MPK

WAITSON,
Maurice, Able Seaman, V 18646 (RCNVR), MPK

WALLACE,
Peter W, Able Seaman, V 11722 (RCNVR), MPK

WARD,
Leslie, Lieutenant (Sp), RCN, MPK

WATSON,
Reginald J, Telegraphist, V 35953 (RCNVR),
killed

WILLIAMS,
Kenneth W, Engine Room Artificer 4c, A 5402 (RCNR), killed

WOOD, John
A, Able Seaman, V 34862 (RCNVR), killed

YEADON,
Robert L, Able Seaman, V 272 (RCNVR), killed

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29 thoughts on “Rememberance Week: Remembering HMCS Athabaskan

  1. Unfortunately, my uncle’s name, Leading Telegraph Émile Beaudoin, still living in Québec City, is not part of the above list. He is the co-author of the book ‘The Unlucky Lady’.

    Pierre Laliberté

  2. Le livre écrit par votre oncle est tout un hommage à ses frères d’armes morts au combat. J’ai même deux copies que je conserve précieusement. J’en ai même offert une aux neveux de Louis Ledoux mort le 29 avril 1944.

    Je peux rendre hommage à votre oncle sur ce blogue et sur la version originale française.

    Je l’ai fait pour plusieurs vétérans encore vivants.

    http://425alouette.wordpress.com/2010/10/24/30-octobre-1944/

    http://425alouette.wordpress.com/2010/09/06/corbille-et-pep/

    http://425alouette.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/deux-amis/

    Je partage ce que mes lecteurs et mes lectrices partagent comme l’a fait le petit-fils d’un pilote canadien de Spitfire.

    J’écris un blogue à partir des photos et du logbook de son grand-père.

    http://rcaf403squadron.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/hello-world/

    On essaie ainsi de rejoinde des membres de la famille d’autres pilotes de la même escadrille qui, à leur tour, peuvent partager leurs informations s’ils le désirent.

    Voici un exemple d’articles de la semaine dernière.

    http://rcaf403squadron.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/what-is-this-blog-all-about-again/

    C’est le fils de Van Sainsbury qui m’a mis un commentaire. Il avait trouvé un article sur son père. Je lui ai écrit et il m’a envoyé des photos exclusives de son père.

    Je fonctionne de cette manière. Je ne force personne à partager.

    Au plaisir d’avoir de vos nouvelles

    1. Monsieur Lagacé,

      Merci pour votre invitation à partager avec vous sur la toile. Il y a tellement de choses à dire de nos ‘sauveurs’. Je ne dis pas non à votre offre.

      Laissez-moi revenir à mon commentaire d’hier. Est-ce possible de faire ajouter le nom de mon oncle Émile Beaudoin dans la liste des marins à bord de l’Athabaskan le 29 avril 1944, lorsque celui-ci a coulé au large de Brest en France ? Et êtes-vous capable de me dire combien il reste de marins de l’Athabaskan toujours vivants aujourd’hui ?

      Quelques nouvelles de mon oncle, maintenant. M. Beaudoin a quitté sa demeure de Ste-Foy à Québec en 2003 pour être admis à la Maison Paul-Triquet, située à quelques pas de chez-lui, pour des raisons de santé. Il y est demeuré jusqu’en 2007, je crois, pour être transféré au Foyer des Vétérans du Centre hospitalier de l’Université Laval (CHUL), toujours à Québec. Cette semaine, il sera de retour à la Maison Paul-Triquet puisque le CHUL a besoin de l’aile des Vétérans pour l’agrandissement du Centre mère-enfant. Son épouse, quant à elle, madame Yvette Laliberté-Beaudoin, la soeur de mon père, demeure toujours dans la maison qu’ils ont fait construire en 1954 et rend visite à son mari deux fois par semaine.

      Au plaisir, monsieur Lagacé.

      Lest We Forget

      Pierre Laliberté
      Adjudant-maître (retraité)

  3. During the war my father, who was English, lived in Winnipeg. The family he lived with had a son who was abord the HMCS Athabaskan in 44. I believe his name was Lucas and there is one Lucas in the list. Is there any way of checking if Lucas, Donald came from Winnipeg? My father passed away 5 years ago and I’m trying to find out more about his years in Canada. In 52 my father moved to Sweden where he met my mother and in 67 I was born.

    Lennart

  4. Thank you so much for doing all this work of the Athabaskan, my dad was a stoker on the Athabaskan on that fatal morning, his name was Moyle H Croft. also a very heart felt thanks to the people who put together all the information into the Unlucky Lady book, I treasure that book. I still miss my dad.

  5. Monsieur Lagacé est quelqu’un de tout à fait exceptionnel.
    Il devrait y avoir beaucoup plus de gens comme lui dans le monde
    Merci encore d’honorer la mémoire de tous ces gens qui, sans vous, seraient sûrement oubliés

    Réjean Ledoux
    Neveu de Louis Ledoux mort sur l’Athabaskan

    1. Merci pour les compliments.
      Avez-vous toujours le dossier de Louis d’Archives Canada?

      Je me souviens que vous l’aviez demandé.
      Je pourrais l’utiliser pour faire revivre la carrière de Louis sur mon blogue.
      Ce dossier serait plein de renseignements un peu comme ceux que j’ai d’autres personnes mortes durant la guerre
      comme mon petit cousin Laurent Dubois et les frères Rousseau.

      Faites-moi signe.

      Pierre

  6. my father FRANK HARBOUR sailed on the ATHABASKAN and is mentioned in the book the Unlucky Lady but there is not a picture of him. Was he in any of the pictures you have?

    He died about 20 years ago and my mother gave me his metals.
    If you can help it would be great.

    Thanks/Merci

    1. Hi Cliff,

      I will take a look at pictures I have and get back as soon as possible.

      My blog pays homage to all who served but the sailors of HMCS Athasbaskan have a special place here.

      Pierre

  7. Hi again Cliff,

    Your father is listed as being on the ship prior 29 April, 1944.
    I figure he was not on board then during the attack.
    I have no pictures of him in the pictures I have.

    Sorry

    Pierre

    1. HI PIERRE,
      YOU ARE CORRECT BUT HE WAS ON THE SHIP WHEN UNDER ATTACK IF YOU READ THE BOOK ON THE UNLUCKY LADY. HE ALSO GOT A RECOMMENDATION FROM THE CAPTAIN OF THE SHIP. I AM VERY PROUD OF MY FATHER AS HE WAS FRENCH AND FROM MONTREAL QUEBEC. HE ALSO SERVERD ON THE HAIDA.
      THANKS FOR YOUR ANSWER.

      CLIFF

      1. I am French also Cliff.
        If you want to share whatever you know I will be proud to write about him.
        I will send you a personal e-mail.

        Pierre

  8. We are looking for information on our Grandfather, George Pape. He served during WWII on a naval ship that was sunk out of Halifax we believe, he was one of the survivors. We have been researching and cannot seem to find any information on his crew or what ship he may have served on. Our family believes that he was on the H.M.C.S Athabaskan. If you could be of any help locating information, and or pictures it would be greatly appreciated. Please feel free to e-mail me directly.
    Thank you

    1. I just wrote you this e-mail…

      Hi,

      I just read your comment.

      We are looking for information on our Grandfather, George Pape. He served during WWII on a naval ship that was sunk out of Halifax we believe, he was one of the survivors. We have been researching and cannot seem to find any information on his crew or what ship he may have served on. Our family believes that he was on the H.M.C.S Athabaskan. If you could be of any help locating information, and or pictures it would be greatly appreciated. Please feel free to e-mail me directly.

      There is no mention of the name George Pape in the book Unlucky Lady.
      This does not mean he was not on board that ship during WWII.

      The best way to go would be to write Archives Canada using the form I am sending with this e-mail.

      Usually this takes about six months to get a copy of his service record.

      Please contact me again when you receive it.

      Pierre

  9. Is there any mention of a John Orr as a member of the crew – he was until he became ill and was hospitalized in England which was when the ship sunk

  10. Malheureusement mon père Bermond Dion ne se souvient plus de son frère mais nous gardons sa mémoire bien vivante : DION, Albert J G, Leading Stoker, V 3373 (RCNVR), MPK. Fierté et reconnaissance en ce jour du souvenir 2014…….Annick Dion

  11. Vous êtes une des rares Canadiennes-françaises à m’écrire sur ce blogue.

    L’oncle de ma femme aurait été dans la salle des machines selon ce qu’il nous a raconté.

  12. My Great Uncle Alfred ( George ) Berkeley is listed in the names of the lost. George was killed while at his station at the Y gun he was 19. The first torpedo hit. George was new to the ship, so there are no pictures of him on board. I have uploaded a picture of George on the Virtual Canadian War Memorial. The HMCS Athabaskan was sunk while engaging German Ebling class torpedo boats that had attacked and killed over 1000 CDN/US and British service men, while on maneuvers called operation TIGER practicing for D-DAY off the coast of England. I had also met many survivors here in BC in the late 80 and early 90’s. they all had very different memories and trauma. I also have a personal letter Len Burrow the author of the Unlucky Lady. What a great generation. LEST WE FORGET

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