Rememberance Week: Remembering HMCS Athabaskan


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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!

Lest We Forget

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

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