When I wrote the first part of my review of the book “In for a Penny, In for a Pound : The Adventures and Misadventures of a Wireless Operator in Bomber Command” written by Howard Hewer, I had never written a book review before, so I suppose I can now say “Welcome to my second […]
I haven’t written a book review before, but last week I was quite struck by this particular book, entitled “In for a penny, In for a pound : The Adventures and Misadventures of a Wireless Operator in Bomber Command” written by Howard Hewer. It is by no means a new book. My copy was published […]
While many considered the Vichy government to be a puppet state, the officers and men of the French fleet had no love for their German occupiers. This was a French fleet and would remain so if they could help it, even if they had to sink it to the bottom of the ocean.
Update on a post written in 2009…
My name is Ian D. MacDonald.
My Uncle was Leading Seaman Donald M. MacDonald, who survived the sinking of the H.M.C.S. Louisburg, but later died on February 8th 1943, from injuries. My mother, sister, and I met with O/S William Quinsey, and his family before his passing, as my uncle had saved Mr. Quinsey from drowning. My uncle Donnie was an avid swimmer. I have a copy of the book as my mother bought several copies to pass on to family members. I’m not sure if she has any left but I will inquire.
Nov 11, 2017.
I had received this comment on my blog Souvenirs de guerre…
Someone had written this comment:
My father, who survived the sinking of HCMS Louisbourg in the Mediterrean in 1943, did not have very happy memories of the contemptuous and injust way Quebec sailors were treated on their ships and even after the war.
My father sustained an injury to his backbone, and his lungs were affected by toxic fumes caused by the fire on board the ship. This French-Canadian who was decorated never received a war veteran pension and we had to live in poverty until we settled in Sept-Îles during the industrial and housing boom of the town.
My father was even sent to the brig in Gibraltar because he defended himself against a Canadian who was constantly insulting him and other francophone crew members!!!
My father died in 1973.
This person never wrote back.
I went on sailing on Google and found a lot of pictures.
Here are a few…
This how it was called, HMCS Louisburg and not Louisbourg.
Here is a painting I also caught in a net on the Net…
This is a list of sailors who died.
Flower Class Corvette
Builder: Morton Engineering and Dry Dock, Quebec City PQ
Commissioned: 2 Oct 1941
Fate: Torpedoed off Oran 6 Feb 1943
Casualties: 2 officers, 35 ratings, 5 RN
|The Casualty Roll|
|STO 1||ANDERSON||A.F.||V 14692||RCNVR||BC,VANCOUVER|
|AB||BENJAMIN||S.||V 2320||RCNVR||NB,ST JOHN|
|STO 1||COURNOYER||R.||V 4453||RCNVR||QUE,MONTREAL|
|ERA 4||FORREST||G.A.C.||V 33125||RCNVR||QUE,MONTREAL|
|ERA 4||GARDEN||R.V.||V 25691||RCNVR||NS,ENFIELD|
|AB||GRAVES||C.S.||A 1369||RCNR||NS,NEW GLASGOW|
|STO 1||MacGREGOR||D.||V 19596||RCNVR||ONT,WINDSOR|
|STO 1||MacPHAIL||S.J.||V 456||RCNVR||NS,PICTOU|
|CODER||MacPHAIL||J.A.||V 1588||RCNVR||PEI,QUEENS CO|
|STO 2||RICE||S.N.||V 31943||RCNVR||ONT,TORONTO|
|PO TEL||SMITH||A.J.||V 9368||RCNVR||MAN,WINNIPEG|
|AB||TANNER||J.A.||V 22913||RCNVR||ONT,SAULT STE MARIE|
The HCMS Louisbourg was part of the Flower class.
It was built by Morton Engineering and Dry Dock, in Québec. It was commissioned on October 2, 1941.
The Louisbourg was torpedoed off the coast of Oran on February 6, 1943.
A comment was left on this post…
Reverend Althon Kerrigan Pring
November 11, 2017 at 12:25 pm Edit
Writing this on Armistice Day 2017. I was aged 9 in UK 1943 when DON METCALFE, a State Saskatchewan ice-hockey player, Electrical Artificer 3c on HMCS ATHABASKAN, was billeted at our home in South Bucks, whilst training at the Admiralty Compass Observatory. He was with us over Christmas 1943. He made me a scale model some 3-feet long of the ship. We were devastated at the ship’s sinking and large loss of life, he being the only WW2 casualty amongst all our family and close friends. Ever remembered, recently aged 83 now I paid my first visit to Canada. In the short visit to Halifax, I was unable personally to plant a memorial cross there, but a kind volunteer in the Maritime Museum took it and eventually placed it at the Naval Memorial sending me photographs including one showing Don’s name inscribed on the Memorial. As is my custom, another cross will be placed at our village War Memorial tomorrow. Every blessing to all.
Then another one today…
Additional note from Kerrigan Pring (ex-RN National Service 1953-55): looking at the top photo above of members of “Athabaskan’s” ship’s company on the foredeck, Donald Metcalfe is front row extreme right with his left hand in his jacket-pocket. If my memory serves me right, the buttons on his sleeve indicate the rating of Chief Petty Officer. My dad was a Chief Writer on board HMS Dido, involved in Russian Convoys, Malta Relief, and Sicily landings. She was the main ship to take the German Navy surrender in Copenhagen. Praise the Lord for a fine crisp day here in U.K. for the Remembrance Sunday ceremonies!
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.
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