HMCS St. Laurent (H83)

Updated 12 September 2022

HMCS St. Laurent (1st of name) (H83)
A ship travelling on the water
HMCS St. Laurent H83.

The “C” Class destroyer HMS Cygnet was purchased by the Royal Canadian Navy and commissioned at Chatham, England on 17 February 1937 as HMCS St. Laurent. She arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia on 8 April, and later sailed for Esquimalt, British Columbia. Shortly after war was declared, she returned to the east coast and, for several months, escorted convoys on the first leg of their transatlantic journey. On 24 May 1940, she was assigned to Western Approaches at Plymouth, United Kingdom, playing a brief role in the evacuation of France. On 2 July 1940, she rescued 860 survivors from the torpedoed liner Arandora Star.

In 1941, HMCS St. Laurent joined Newfoundland Command as a mid-ocean escort. During this period, “Sally”, as she was nicknamed, assisted in the destruction of two U-boats: U-356 and U-845. In May 1944, she was transferred to Escort Group 11 for invasion duties. She then returned home for major repairs, and remained in Canadian waters as a member of Halifax Force. Following Victory in Europe-Day, she was employed in transporting troops from Newfoundland to Canada. HMCS St. Laurent was paid off on 10 October 1945 at Sydney, Nova Scotia and broken up in 1947.


20 August 1941


To be continued…

More information about the ship…

The Stampede Sabre Saga

Updated 9 September 2022 with these comments A fantastic piece and very timely with the SPAADS reunion in Montreal taking place this week. One note- correction; North American Aviation used an Inglewood, Ca. mailing address. The actual plant(s) were in El Segundo, California. About ¼ of El Segundo was taken up with aviation plants, and still is. Boeing, Grumman, Raytheon & etc. Part of NAA was North of Imperial Highway, and thus in City of Los Angeles, adjacent to what we know as LAX Having lived in Los Angeles area ( including Inglewood), I am somewhat aware of the role aviation played in the growth of LA especially the South Bay area From Douglas in Santa Monica …to Douglas in Long Beach with Hughes, Boeing McDonnell, Grumman and a million smaller shops in between. Cheers, Mike A second comment as the location in a photo of the 413 Sq is not on station at Zweibrucken Germany but at Volkel Holland while on Exercise “Lucifer”, late August/ Early September 1954. My Dad is just to the left in 23139 RCAF/ DND has a number of great pictures taken at this time. Thank you both for this fantastic work ! I have F/O Kaye’s log here if I can look up or help with any information. Dad was also involved in transporting MKII’s to Turkey and training pilots in July 1954 Mike Kaye

Research by Clarence Simonsen The Stampede Sabre Jet Click on the link above. Text version with the images found in the PDF document) The Stampede Sabre Saga Each year in July, the City of Calgary, Alberta, holds an annual ten-day rodeo billed as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.” This exhibition, festival, and rodeo attracts […]

The Stampede Sabre Saga

Breaking News! Redux

I had gotten this comment five years ago from Norm Gervais and I had posted it on the blog.

This is the original post…

Mon père Jacques Gervais peut-être nommé comme James Gervais était je crois CPO lors de l’attaque. Il a dit très peu de choses lorsque il vivait au sujet de l’événement. Il doit sûrement sa vie au fait qu’il a été très sérieusement blessé et que à cause de ses blessure il a été placé dans un canot de sauvetage. Il paraitrait que plusieurs des marins non blessés ont dû s’accrocher au radeau parce qu’il n’y avait pas de place dans le canot. Certains de ceux-ci auraient été attaqué par des requins alors que d’autres seraient décédés à cause de l’eau froide. Mon père a été un de ceux qui n’a pas été fait prisonnier mais secouru par HMCS HAIDA.


My father Jacques Gervais, maybe going by the name James Gervais was I believe CPO (Chief Petty Officer) during the attack. He said very little about the event when he was living. He surely owed his life by the fact that he was very seriously injured, and because of this was put aboard a lifeboat. It would seem that several uninjured sailors had stayed in the water, and had to hold on to the lifeboat because there was not enough place. Some of them would have been attacked by sharks  while others died of hypothermia. My father was one of those not taken prisoner but rescued by HMCS HAIDA.

The name James Gervais or Jacques Gervais is not on the list found in the book Unlucky Lady.

This is the second time someone has written me about the list being incomplete.

The first time was in 2012 and I wrote about it.

Click here.

Norm wrote me a second time and he told me he thinks his father was working in the engine room… just like my wife’s uncle.

I got thinking…

Could Norm’s father be on these pictures taken early April 1944?

To be continued…?

Norm phoned me this afternoon and we should be meeting very soon. He is going to bring his father’s photos for me to scan.

To be continued…