What happened in the engine room on April 29, 1944

Athabaskan sinking 1944

This comment on a post written in 2011!

WOW ! As a 85 year old Retired Stoker, (with a 19 year time in) this subject  comes right back at me ! As a Leading Stoker in the 50s after Korea. I was working with a stoker PO, which we be came friends. Naturally, we had a lot of Sailor talk.  I (I was in Cayuga 2nd trip with the “Great Impostor”).  

Back to Jake. My Stoker PO friend. Naturally, over our time together, a lot of Salty Dips! Jake then, after me asking about his Wartime experiences told me he had been in Atha “B” when she was sunk. ! (I will Make this short ! ) If you are not a stoker , I apologize , for the description.

When Atha “B” was hit and sinking, Jake was  hit  in #1 boiler room , which was taking on water quickly , and filling up ! a few of the stokers headed for the escape hatch and they and were killed by the broken super heated steam lines !! I asked Jake HOW in the HELL did he get out ! As the sea water was flooding the space, Jake jumped in the bilge and rose up with the water until he reached the ESCAPE hatch ! As a stoker myself, I remembered that every time I entered the PIT !

Conclusion. Those which swam away on the port side, were picked up by a German Gun Boat which had sunk it and became prisoners of war, and those leaving from the Starboard, were picked up by a Canadian Destroyer.

This is the best I can do

Bill Buck


4 thoughts on “What happened in the engine room on April 29, 1944

  1. My uncle was on the Athabaskan when it was sunk. His name was LUCIEN JOSEPH RIENDEAU who was the son of IVANHOE RIENDEAU WHO LIVED IN LOWER TOWN IN OTTAWA ONTARIO AND WAS KILLED ON THAT DATE THE UNLUCKY LADY SANK. Would like to find out any informations about my uncle who gave his life during the war and a lake was named in his honour called RIENDEAU LAKE IN NORTHERN ONTARIO. IF ANYONE KNOWS ANY INFORMATIONS ABOUT LUCIEN JOSEPH RIENDEAU PLEASE FEEL FREE IN CONTACTING ME

    Thank you


    Paul Riendeau

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