Currently with about 3340 photos and counting.
This website started out as a place to display the photos I took during my three years in the RCN, but as I made contact with some of my former shipmates, I opened it up to show RCN-related photos taken by anyone. The photo above, by Robert Berbeck, is a prime example. If you have photos of your time in the Canadian Navy, I would be glad to give you a section of this website to serve as a record of the history of that part of your life.
Updated April 29, 2021
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Section Updated August 11, 2020.
Yes, this is a history website, but "history" doesn't mean only 50 years ago or older. It also means yesterday. If you have photos of your time in the RCN, then I'm definitely interested. Please see submission guidelines.
LINKS TO DOCUMENTS AND LISTS ON THIS WEBSITE.
These documents and lists are scattered throughout this website, and are listed here for convenience. Section revised November 6, 2020.
ABOUT 55 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY CHARLIE DOBIE
I'm Charlie Dobie, the creator and maintainer of this website. I joined the Royal Canadian Navy in September 1960, in Thunder Bay, Ontario, under the three-year On The Job Training (OJT) programme. I took basic training in Cornwallis, NS, and in January 1961 was posted to HMCS Ste. Therese, in Victoria BC. I served there as a sonarman (OSSN & ABSN) for the duration of my time and was released about July or August, 1963.
Photos are shown of these people: Abrams, Alford, Anaka, Balloid, Bernard, Bigcanoe, Bottomley, Boyce, Brown, Buck, Campbell, Caruthers, Compton, Dahl, Daniels, Demchuck, Dobie, Douville, Egger, Elgert, Evans(?), Fisher, Graw, Hall, Hamilton, Hammett, Hawkes, Healey, Hegler, Hergott, Hoffman, Kutzner, Lawson, Leeming, Leyden, McCaughey, McFarlane, Mullin, Oggelsby, Owens, Patterson, Pesclevich, Pounder, Sjolie, Spooner, Srubowich, Thorne, Toth, Trick, Wakefield, Waldron, Waters, Weir, Willway, Wright, Wurtz, Yeager.
Photos are shown of these ships: HMCS Assiniboine, Beacon Hill, HMS Belfast, HMCS Cape Breton, Grilse, Margaree, Ottawa, Ste Therese. Section updated February 12, 2020.
ABOUT 108 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY ROBERT BERBECK
Robert Berbeck joined the RCN in 1960 and was trained as a signalman. He served on HMCS New Glasgow, Ste Therese, Cape Breton, Assiniboine, Qu'Appelle, Antigonish, Beacon Hill, Cowichan, Provider, Terra Nova, Mackenzie, Yukon, Restigouche, & Kootenay, and retired after 27 years with the rank of P1SG4.
Bob took the photo which appears at the top of this website page. It was taken onboard HMCS Qu'Appelle in July 1964, enroute to Acapulco. The photo is of his late brother-in-law John White.
Photos are shown of these people: Banks, Barre, Berbeck, Beverage, Brent, Briggs, Broadfoot, Broadwood, Buburuz, Calder, Campbell, Campbell-Hope, Chute, Cicconi, Corrigal, Dale, David, Davies, deBalinhard, Ethier, Fredrickson, Ganner, Hall, Hazzard, Heron, Hockley, Huber, Hunter, Johnson, Johnston, Kain, Kyle, L'Heureux, Landymore, Law, Lawrence, Leir, Linaker, Lloyd, Macadam, Madsen, McAdam, McCoy, McGregor, McLean, Mitchell, Patterson, Paul, Power, Powers, Puesch(?), Ratcliffe, Read, Reid, Renaud, Rogers, Rumble, Staples, Stewart, Thomas, Tucknott, White.
Photos are shown of (or on board) these ships: HMCS Antigonish, Assiniboine, Athabaskan, Beacon Hill, Bonaventure, Fraser, Grilse, Haida, Mackenzie, Micmac, Nipigon, Provider, Qu'Appelle, Restigouche, Saguenay, Saskatchewan, St Croix, Skeena, Terra Nova, Yukon. Section revised August 7, 2020.
13 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY GRANT SINCLAIR
Grant Sinclair's email address no longer works! He was an ABWU1 who served on HMCS Beacon Hill and HMCS Cape Breton. He left the RCN in February, 1964.
ONE DOCUMENT AND 15 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY JOHN GORMAN
Another former navy member is John Gorman of Halifax, N.S. Like many others, John served the initial three year enlistment as a Naval Airman/Air Boatswain in the R.C.N., beginning in Cornwallis and on to Shearwater and HMCS Bonaventure with some time towards the end at Stadacona and Mill Cove. After leaving the navy, he went on to become an Oceanography Technician at the Bedford Institute and also a trained federal Fisheries Officer. He further graduated from the Forest Technology program in Fredericton, N.B. and spent 29 more years as a warden with Parks Canada. Section revised March 7, 2021.
19 PHOTOS & THREE SCANS IN THIS SECTION BY DAVE TYSON
Dave Tyson joined the RCN in Winnipeg in April 1962 under the OJT programme. After basic training in Cornwallis, he served as a radar plotter on HMCS Mackenzie from October 1962 when it was commissioned in Montreal, until it went into dry-dock at Esquimalt for refit in 1964. He was then assigned to HMCS Naden until his release in 1965. He left as an ABRUPT. Section revised August 23, 2019.
14 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY ROBERT BROWN
Robert (Bob) Brown and I were fellow shipmates and sonarmen on HMCS Ste Therese. For some reason he was then known as "Charlie Brown", and it was a surprise to me to get these photos from Bob Brown.
SEVEN PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION SUBMITTED BY PHIL MURPHY
Phil Murphy served on HMCS Assiniboine from 1964 TO 1967. When the services were integrated he asked for a discharge and transferred to the U.S. Navy where he trained as a medical corpsman. He then transfered to the U.S. Marines and served for almost two years in Vietnam. Taking advantage of the G.I. bill he went to university, got his commission, and retired after a total of 35 years of active and reserve military service.
25 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION SUBMITTED BY ROGER HAWKES
Roger Hawkes served as an ABWU on HMCS Ste Therese from 1962 to 1964 when he left the Navy. He re-enlisted after three years and sailed on HMCS Saskatchewan. After a year he transfered to the Fleet Diving Unit Pacific and served until 1975 when he had to leave because of a back injury. (Section revised March 16, 2020)
ONE DOCUMENT & SEVEN PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY AL MALCOMSON
Al Malcomson joined the RCN in May 1966. He sailed on Qu'Appelle, Mackenzie, Oriole and Restigouche. With the rank of LSFC2, he transfered to the RCMP in 1976 where he served another 15 years. He was medically discharged to pension after falling three storeys off a hotel roof. Section updated February 1, 2017
24 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY CARL ASH
Carl Ash served in the Navy from 1961 to 1964. After basic training at HMCS Cornwallis he served on board HMCS Terra Nova. Carl's email address updated May 10, 2020
SIX PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY PETER FRIESEN
Peter Friesen was in the RCN from 1955 to 1960. He served on HMCS New Glasgow from November, 1956 to June, 1957, and on HMCS Fraser, from June, 1957 to September, 1960. After he left the Navy he worked for five years as a bread salesman and baker, then for 38 years for a window company until he retired in 2003. While working at the window company he was also a lay minister and preacher. He continued his ministry after retirement until a heart attack and triple bypass surgery in November 2008. Section updated February 8, 2017.
45 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY RONALD ARMSTRONG
Wilfred Ronald Armstrong was an Aircraft Technician in the RCN from 1967 to 1970. He served on HMCS Bonaventure, VS 880 in HMCS Shearwater, etc. and serviced Tracker aircraft.
15 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY KEN LLOYD
Ken Lloyd joined the RCN in 1952, and was in Ottawa Division during basic training at HMCS Cornwallis. He served in Korea then stayed in the Navy as a reservist after his first stint, retiring at the compulsory retirement age of 55 with the rank of C1BN4. He was a long-time member of HMCS Discovery and was Cox'n from 1980 to 1985. He died in Vancouver on August 27, 2010, from Alzheimer's, age 75 years. Ken's photos are courtesy of Robert Berbeck. Ken was able to give only limited information about these photos before he passed. Some are official RCN photos, but others taken in the 1940's and 1950's, may be originals. However, it is not known who took them.
Ships shown in this section: HMCS Athabaskan II, Cornwallis, Cayuga, Chilliwack, Discovery, Ontario, Provider I, Sioux, HMS Prince of Wales.
Surnames in this section: Blatherwick, Brown, Cepletis, Chan, Crewe, Docherty, Dunn, Fournier, Fowler, Fox, Foxall, Gamble, Garrick, Gosslin, Grimmer, Hamilton, Hinshaw, Larson, Livingstone, Lloyd, Loverock, Mackay, Mainguy, McKinnell, McRossan, Munro, Murry, Olmstead, Paul, Payne, Pollard, Reddecop, Roots, Roth, Spielman, Sutherland, Taggart, Thornton, Wallace. Section revised March 14, 2018.
SIX PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY JIM THORN
Jim Thorn served from 1962-67. He was a medic and served mostly at HMCS Stadacona in the hospital. He also worked at HMCS Cornwallis in the sickbay which was across the street from the main gate. He says he enjoyed his work as a medic and although he only served five years he remembers them fondly. Section revised February 16, 2019.
THREE PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY DON YOUNG
Don Young is a long-retired mechanical engineer who worked for Vickers-Sperry from 1963 to 1970. In this capacity he had a continuing connection with HMCS Assiniboine's VDS system, anti-roll fins, and helicopter testing equipment. Then with the RCN Dockyards at Esquimalt, Shearwater and Halifax designing, testing and repairing dockyard cranes and other equipment.
After joining a consulting company in 1970 he serviced and maintained cranes at DND Halifax.
13 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY BERT VONKALCKREUTH
ABVS1 Bert vonKalckreuth was in the RCN from May 1962 until 1965. During basic training at HMCS Cornwallis he was in Columbia 2/62 Division. He served on HMCS Chaudiere from November 1962 until about October 1964, then at HMCS Shearwater until April 1965.
THREE PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY TERRY FINDLAY
Terry Findlay joined up in 1966 and after basic training he was in the first batch of airframe technicians to go to Camp Borden. Things didn't work out well for him and he was offered a change of trade or release. He chose release. He is currently (2020) a 48 year member of the 480 Westboro Legion (Ottawa).
He submitted an official group photo of Terra Nova 2/66 Division as well as a portrait of himself at HMCS Cornwallis, age 17. In February, 2013, he sent me, via Brian Lapierre, an undamaged photo of Terra Nova 2/66 Division, complete with all of the men's names. Section revised April 23, 2020.
21 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY STEEN LAURSEN, aka. STEEN HEILBUTH
Steen Laursen says: My name was Steen Heilbuth, ABSN, and I served on the Skeena, St. Laurent (world cruise in '64), the St. Croix and finished on the Ste. Therese, completing my three year hitch, March 20, 1963 to March 19th, 1966. In HMCS Cornwallis our division (Assiniboine) trained for the Sunset Guard and we performed at the then Dominion Day, July 1st celebrations on Parliament Hill. We were very proud!!
Looking back I have very fond memories, especially lucking out on a nine month around-the-world cruise. What young 18 year old wouldn't love that?
After leaving the service I again lucked out landing a thirty-year career as a firefighter with the City of Burnaby. I have been retired for just over ten years, living in Parksville, BC.
I stated above that my name was Steen Heilbuth which I have changed to my birth father's name of Laursen. I found out at the age of fifty years old that I was adopted. Quite a shock. Fortunately, I learned of my adoption soon enough to meet my birth parents in Denmark.
So there you have it in a nut shell. If you sailed with me please drop me a line. Steen Laursen, aka. Heilbuth.
23 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY ED KOSKI
Ed Koski says: "I joined March 15, 1959 in Sudbury, and was an OSLM (Electricians Mate). I was in Terra Nova Division 1/59 in Cornwallis and took part in Sunset Ceremony Guard (Rifles) and Queen's Honour Guard on (the Queen's) arrival in Gander Nfld. via BOAC, June 19, 1959. On her return (from the Royal Tour) we received her White Ensign in Halifax at the Citadell Hill Ceremony on July 31, 1959.
" I went on to commission HMCS Chaudiere in November 1959 with Dockyard Maties after Trade School in Stad and lived in Shearwater until the ship was ready."
LINKS TO 27 PHOTOS & SEVEN VIDEOS IN THIS SECTION BY CLAUS MATHES
Claus Mathes was in the RCN from November 1960 to November 1968. He was a Steward and left with the rank of Leading Seaman. After leaving HMCS Cornwallis (Kootenay 3/60 Division) in March 1961, he served on HMCS Iroquois (April '61 to Sept. '62), HMCS Chaudiere (Sept. & Oct. '62), HMCS Columbia (Oct. '62 to Nov. '64), and HMCS Hochelaga (LaSalle) CFB Montreal (Nov. '64 to Nov. '68). Most of his time at sea was served as Captain's Steward and his time in Montreal was spent serving in the Officers' Mess.
This section is different from the others in that Claus has a website, complete with his own RCN photos and digitized 8mm movies, so below are direct links to the various sections of his website.
29 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY RICHARD FISH
During basic training at HMCS Cornwallis, Richard Fish was in Restigouche 1/66 Division. He passed away in 2015.
FIVE PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY BRUCE MURRAY
Bruce Murray joined the RCN in September, 1961, and was in Assiniboine 2/61 Division when he was in basic training at HMCS Cornwallis. After training he served on HMCS Terra Nova as a sonarman until his release in 1964.
NINE PHOTOS & 17 "IN MEMORIAM" CARDS IN THIS SECTION BY ALLAN BERTELSEN
The late Allan Bertelsen served on HMCS Provider during World War 2 as a Morse Code operator. These photos were taken between 1940 and 1945. Shown are photos of Provider as well as of several Fairmile patrol boats. Included also are memorial cards dedicated to Canadian ships which were lost during the war. Allan passed away on May 6, 2013, at the age of 91.
ONE PHOTO IN THIS SECTION BY DAVE MACGREGOR
Dave Macgregor says: " I went through Cornwallis in Assiniboine 2/66. . . . I served on the Beacon Hill, Skeena, Kootenay, and Preserver, as an ABRM, also was stationed at CFS Mill Cove just outside of Halifax. I left after my five years in July, 1971. "
ONE PHOTO IN THIS SECTION BY GORD BEATTIE
Gord Beattie says: " I was in Columbia Division the summer of 1962 and have fond memories of the guard and our drill instuctors. I moved on and became a Radioman Special, training at HMCS Gloucester (Ottawa) and finished out my service in Moncton, NB and Frobisher Bay. I had a career as a Director of Supply Management with Nortel, working in Ottawa, Montreal, Santa Clara, CA and Raleigh, NC. I am now retired and living in Wake Forest, NC, the first village north of Raleigh. "
29 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY HERBERT STEPHENSON
The late Herbert Stephenson was from North Battleford, SK, and joined the RCN in January 1955. He served five years, was a gunnery rate, and was discharged in 1960 with the rank of ABWS1. The ships he served on included HMCS Sioux, HMCS Ontario, and HMCS Antigonish. Herbert died about 2008.
Most of these photos were taken during the assault course in June, 1955, at HMCS Cornwallis, and Herbert probably purchased those, but a few others were taken by Herbert and are of him and his friends at Cornwallis. There is only one each of crew members of HMCS Sioux and HMCS Ontario.
15 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY DON HENDERSON
Don Henderson joined the RCN in December, 1953. He served on HMCS New Glasgow, Athabaskan, James Bay, St Laurent and Granby. He was released in December, 1958 with the rank of LSCV1.
1031 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY BRIAN LAPIERRE
From Chauvin, Alberta, Brian Lapierre joined the RCN in September, 1966. He was in Terra Nova 2/66 Division in Cornwallis, and he remained in Cornwallis for a couple of months after Basic Training to play hockey with the Cornwallis Cougars. He trained as an electrician, and served on HMCS Bonaventure, Onondaga, Okanagan, Nipigon, Margaree, Iroquois, and Athabaskan. He retired in December, 1988 with the rank of Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class, and immediately started work as a civilian on the navy's new Frigate programme. His photo series includes the Last Dive Cruise of HMCS Onondaga in 2000, and the Paying-Off Cruise of HMCS Athabaskan in 2017, and ends with 34 photos of a get-together celebrating the 50th anniversary of the commissioning of HMCS Okanagan, held in 2018. Brian's photographs comprise almost 1/3 of the total photos on this website!
The surnames of those shown in Brian's photos are: Alarie, Alberts, Alexander, Allen, Anderson, Angrinon, Anthony, Arnason, Aubrey, Bell, Berry, Biloski, Blagdon, Bonnah, Bouchard, Boucher, Brayshaw, Brannen, Brisson, Brown, Broyden, Buckley, Burke, Burnett, Burston, Byzewski, Cairns, Cameron, Campbell, Carrier, Carter, Chambers, Chartrand, Chatham, Chenie, Cherneski, Childs, Chisolm, Christie, Clahane, Clark, Clayton, Connolly, Conway, Cooper, Copeland, Courcy, Crepin, Crowe, Cruikshank, Cumming, Dagenais, Daigle, Daly, Deak, Demers, Dempsey, Deschenes, Desprey, Desrosiers, Dietz, Dolomont, Doutre, Dube, Dunn, Durnford, Embree, Eng, Estabrooks, Evans, Ewan, Faid, Falconer, Farnholtz, Faucher, Ferguson, Finnamore, Flecknell, Fleet, Flewwelling, Francis Franklin, Gainer, Gallant, Garceau, Gard, Gardner, Gebler, Gilbert, Girard, Glover, Goddard, Goldsmith, Gordon, Gorselin, Gray, Griffin, Guttin, Haines, Hall, Hamilton, Hanna, Harris, Harrison, Hawes, Hayward, Higdon, Hill, Hillier, Hills, Holland, Honsinger, Hood, Hopkins, Houghton, Huett, Hughes, Hunt, Hurford, Hynes, Irvine, Jackson, Jakoplic, Jenner, Jennings, Johnston, Jolivet, Jones, Kamermans, Kearn, Killiam, King, Kollen, Kyle, Lake, Lamy, Langlois, Lapierre, Larsen, Lavers, Lawhead, Layden, Lee, Legare, Lewis, Limoges, Llewellyn, Lloyd, Lovasi, MacDougall, MacEachern, Mackie, MacKinnon, MacLaughlin, MacMillan, Madison, Madynski, Malloy, Manning, Marcoux, Martel, Martin, Mason, McCluskey, McCulley, McDonnell, McEachern, McLean, McMillan, Meloche, Meunier, Michaud, Middlekoop, Middleton, Milen, Miller, Mizuik, Mollison, Molloy, Morgan, Mossman, Mountan, Mowat, Mydynsky, Nesbit, Newman, O'Hara, Ouellet, Parker, Parsons, Parlee, Parry, Patterson, Pearce, Pease, Pepper, Pesant, Pfaff, Phillips, Piercey, Pindera, Pollard, Porter, Poulton, Pratt, Presley, Prosser, Provencher, Quinn, Radmore, Ranger, Reeve, Renner, Richards, Roach, Rockley, Rodden, Ross, Rousson, Rowe, Rozelle, Rubinich, Rouillard, Russell, Sadler, Sanderson, Sanford, Santo, Sawyer, Schatz, Schmidt, Schneider, Schuman, Scott, Serafini, Shields, Sigrist, Smale, Smith, Smythe, Soleman, South, Spencer, Squire, St. Amant, Starr, Steeb, Steig, Stevens, Stewart, Stoakley, Stone, Sullivan, Summers, Surette, Thomas, Thompson, Tovey, Toyer, Tremblay, Turcotte, Turtle, Urquhart, Van Rooyen, Vermette, Vinnedge, Vondette, Waddell, Wagner, Waite, Walsh, Walsworth, Walton, Wambolt, Ward, Waugh, Webb, Wells, Whalen, Whitesell, Whitmore, Williamson, Wilson, Wing, Workman, Wright, Wyss, Yeo.
Canadian Navy ships shown: HMCS Annapolis, Athabaskan, Bonaventure, Bras d'Or, Cape Scott, Fraser, Fundy, Halifax, Iroquois, Margaree, Nipigon, Ojibwa, Okanagan, Onondaga, Ottawa, Protecteur, Provider, Restigouche, Skeena, St Laurent, Terra Nova.
American Navy ships shown: USS Alabama, Comte de Grasse, Flying Fish, Sea Leopard, Sea Robin, Sellers, Shiloh, Skipjack, Ticonderoga, Tigrone, Trepang, and others.
Other naval ships shown: FGS Augsburg, HNLMS Banckert, HMS Danae, HMS Dido, HMS London, HNoMS Narvik, FGS Rommel, HNLMS Van Nes, and others. Section revised May 26, 2020.
ELEVEN PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY KEN DAVY
Ken Davy was a sick-bay attendant on HMCS Forest Hill during World War 2. He says: " I joined at HMCS Star in Hamilton on Divisional Strength (reserve) in April 1943. I went on active service in 1944 and took my basic training at HMCS York in Toronto. As I was a Sick Bay Attendant, I trained in the RCN Hospital in Halifax. I served in the corvette HMCS Forest Hill for six months then after the end of hostilities served ashore until I was discharged in February 1946. I was still only nineteen. It was a great adventure for a young kid. "
EIGHT PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY AUSTIN "RUSTY" WRIGHT
The late Austin (Rusty) Wright was born in 1929 and served in the RCN from 1944 to 1949. He died about 2011. His daughter, Lynette Wright Lewis, sent me these photos in the hope that someone will be able to identify the ships and/or the men in them, in order to find out more about her father's naval career. The only ship which can be positively identified is HMCS Ontario. None of the other ships are numbered. Lynette says in part: ". . . (he) originally signed on in Calgary (Tecumseh), then stationed in Naden, Esquimalt. We understood that he was involved in searching for and destroying floating mines left from the war. "
18 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY DON LOGAN
Don Logan joined the RCN three-year program on 11 Nov 1960, and was in Margaree 3/60 Division in Cornwallis. He trained as a Signalman, then served on HMCS Kootenay, Fort Erie and Columbia and took release at the end of his third year, 10 Nov 1963. A year and a bit later, on 25 Sept 1965, he re-enlisted in the RCAF as a communicator. On 22 July 1970, he re-mustered to air crew, as an Observer/Airborne Electronic Sensor Operator (AESOp) spending 25 years flying Trackers with VS 880 in Shearwater, Argus's in Summerside, PEI, Argus/Auroras in Greenwood, N.S. and Auroras in Comox, B.C. On 29 Jun 1988 he was posted to the Aurora Software Development Unit (ASDU) in Greenwood for 3 yrs. and then to 415 Sqn, Greenwood. On 21 Sep 1994 he was posted to Wing Ops in Comox, as the Electronic Warfare Officer, until his retirement, on 30 July, 1995. Section updated January 14, 2017.
NINE PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY RUSSELL (JACK) WATSON
Russell (Jack) Watson was in the navy from April, 1966 to April, 1968. He was in Terra Nova 1/66 Division during basic training at HMCS Cornwallis. He left the navy when tri-service came into effect. At first he was a stoker then re-mustered to a cook. He was posted to HMCS Naden to train for the military tattoo but had to leave to have surgery. Returning from Naden he worked in the wardroom galley at HMCS Stadacona until he left the navy in April, 1968.
After leaving the navy, he went to culinary school at George Brown College in Toronto, then worked at the Royal York Hotel, head office for Canadian Pacific Hotels (now Fairmont). As of 2014 he was working on a cruise ship and hopes to retire there.
16 PHOTOS & ONE CLIPPING IN THIS SECTION BY REGINALD H. "SMOKEY" RHYMES
Many thanks to Smokey's son, Gordon P. Rhymes, for these photos of his father. Originally from Burgeo NL, he enlisted in the Canadian Army in Halifax, in March, 1945 and served until May 15, 1946. Joining the RCN at the end of April, 1947, he served 25 years, retiring at the end of April, 1972. He passed away in 2006.
He served on HMCS Athabaskan, Cap de la Madelaine, Crescent, Haida, Huron, Lanark, Nootka, Penetang, Prestonian, Quebec, Saguenay, & Swansea, and was stationed in HMCS Cornwallis from 1959 to 1961. There is little information accompanying these photos, and few people other than Smokey are identified, but some locations have been determined by the dates in his service records. Section revised August 21, 2020.
Kenneth Anthony Johnson and William Philip Hodgkin sailed on the maiden voyage of HMCS Ontario, from May to November, 1945. Not having their own cameras, they purchased official photos of the voyage and of life on board and ashore, which were made available to crew members at a cost of about 10 cents each. Although there are many photos in common, their purchases differed enough so that the two collections together provide an almost complete record of the trip.
Their sons, Ken Johnson, Jr., and Russell Hodgkin, have kindly provided me with these historic images. Thanks also to Al Brosseau who provided me with two photos of that voyage which were given to him by a cousin.
When I scanned Ken Johnson's collection I recorded the official negative numbers which were written on the back of each print. Because I scanned Ken's photos in the order I picked them out of the envelope, it never occurred to me that these numbers were in date order, and I arranged his dad's section by what I thought was common subject or location. Later research proved that I was wrong on many of my assumptions about location, etc.
The sections of the two shipmates (there is no indication they knew each other) have been presented together here. Ken Johnson's has been left as I first arranged it, with the addition of negative numbers in the photo descriptions, but Phil Hodgkin's section is in negative number order, which shows the progression of the trip from Belfast, Ireland, around the world to Esquimalt, BC. But more than that, in the latter section, the two collections have been combined into a photo album showing the complete trip.
There are many photos missing from the album, as the large gaps in the negative numbers show. If anyone can fill in the blanks, I would much appreciate copies of the missing photos.
March, 2016 -- A list of the photographs was discoverd in William Philip Hodgkin's papers. The photos are listed in negative number order and include the date and photo description. Most photos listed were taken by Leading Photographer Sydney H. Draper, V-57990.
February, 2017 -- These photos plus others in the series which are missing from this collection can be seen in the HMCS Ontario album on the "For Posterity's Sake" website.
December 1, 2017 -- Robert Ferris sent me a large collection of photos owned by his father, Edmund Ferris. There are many duplicates of the official photo series seen in Ken Johnson's and Russell Hodgkin's collections, but there are quite a number of officlal photos which aren't in those sets. In addition, there are about 15 photos taken on HMCS Ontario with Edmund Ferris's own camera.
184 PHOTOS, A NEWSLETTER & A BOOKLET IN THIS SECTION BY KEN JOHNSON
In November, 2013 I received an email from Ken Johnson, which said in part: "My father (Kenneth Anthony Johnson) sailed on the HMCS Ontario. He had a lot of photos taken on their first voyage. Would these be of any interest? I also have a full size photo of the whole crew on the ship." To make a long story short, Ken mailed me the whole collection of photos and I scanned them at very high resolution. Fortunately they are almost all official RCN photographs, so were taken with good quality lenses. Even though the prints are small, the scans produced sharp images.
Except for ten postcards of HMCS Cornwallis which Ken Sr., mailed home in letters while he was there, the collection records the voyage of the newly-built HMCS Ontario from the Clyde on July 2nd, 1945, through various ports in the Mediterranean, through the Suez Canal, to Colombo, Ceylon, until her arrival in Hong Kong on Sept. 12, where her crew participated in the Japanese surrender on Sept. 16. She stayed in Hong Kong until November 1st, when she left for home via Manilla and Pearl Harbour, arriving in Esquimalt on November 27, 1945.
From an undated Christmas card owned by Ken Johnson, Jr., it would seem that before Ken Sr. was on HMCS Ontario, he was a crew member of HMCS Springhill, a River Class frigate.
Special thanks is given to Tony Banham for identifying the many Hong Kong photos. Tony is the author of three books on the war in Hong Kong, with a fourth (and probably several more) being researched. Please see his fascinating website Hong Kong War Diary. Because of his information, I've been able to re-group many of the photos into several Hong Kong sections.
December 17, 2014 : Thanks also to Gehan Pinto who had a Ceylon History page on Facebook (April, 2017 -- now seems to be gone). He kindly sent me modern versions of many of the Ceylon photos and also helped me sort out those taken in Egypt. (This Canadian didn't know date palms don't grow in Sri Lanka).
March, 2015 : Thanks also to Russell Hodgkin, whose father's photo collection is immediately below this one. Russell was the one who clued me in to the fact that the negative numbers of the official photos are in order of occurrence, so arranging them in negative number order would show the progression of the voyage from start to finish. This insight also enabled us to identify many previously unknown locations.
November, 2015 : Thanks also to Alfred Lai, a Hong Kong-born Canadian who is an officer serving in the Canadian Army. He corrected previous descriptions of many of the Hong Kong photos and added new information to others.
March, 2016 : As mentioned above, a list of the photos taken during the voyage was found in the papers of William Phillip Hodkin (see the section immediately below). Several ships and people were identified by name in the list and they have been added to the photo descriptions as well as to the paragraphs below.
July, 2020 : Ken Johnson sent me a photo of his father and Archie Leitch, taken in Valetta Malta, on July 8, 1945.
People identified so far: The Hon. Douglas Abbott, H. Agnew, Rear-Admiral V.G. Brodeur, Charlie Conway, Major-General F.W. Festing, Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser, Vice-Admiral G.C. Jones, Capt. Harold Taylor Wood Grant, Ken Johnson, Ernest Harold Massick.
Ships Shown: HMS Bleasdale, HMCS Haida, HMCS Matane, HMCS Ontario, HMCS Prince Robert, RMS Queen Mary. Also shown is a King George the 5th Class battleship, either HMS Anson or HMS Duke of York. Section Revised August 10, 2020.
32 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY RUSSELL HODGKIN
William Philip Hodgkin joined the RCN in late 1941 when he was 17. He was 21 when HMCS Ontario sailed and was still considered to be RCN Volunteer Reserve at the time. His official title was "Writer". He retired from the Navy in 1966.
Phil's son (he was William Philip but was always known as "Phil") Russell Hodgkin, says his dad served on other ships and/or land bases before he joined HMCS Ontario. Russell is still searching through old documents and photos for details, but it is certain that in April, 1944, he joined the RCN's headquarters in Britain, HMCS Niobe, located in Greenock, Scotland, and worked in the Personnel Records Office there.
After WW2, he served twice on HMCS Cayuga -- the first time when she sailed in company with HMCS Athabaskan, Crescent, Antigonish, and HMCS Ontario, to Hawaii in Oct 1948. His second time assigned to HMCS Cayuga -- June 1951 to August 1952 -- was for her second tour in Korea.
People identified so far: The Hon. Douglas Abbott, Rear-Admiral V.G. Brodeur, Vice-Admiral Frederick Dalrymple-Hamilton, Padre J.R. Edwards, Fast, Fitz, Hodgkin, Vice-Admiral G.C. Jones, Lovick, Fred Mace, Maki, Mearns, Admiral Henry Ruthven Moore, Reed, St Pierre, Steenerson, Wall, West, Zeke.
Ships shown: HMCS Cayuga, HMCS Ontario, HMS Swiftsure, HMS Truncheon. Section revised April 29, 2021.
106 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY EDMUND FERRIS
Edmund Ferris served as a seaman (Radar III) on both HMCS Cobalt and HMCS Ontario during WWII. After the war he went to work as an autobody man at Lakehead Motors in Port Arthur (now Thunder Bay, Ontario) and in the 1960's started his own autobody business, "Ferris and Marsh Autobody".
Now, at the age of 92 (November, 2017) he is still a member and active participant in the Thunder Bay Naval Association, HMCS Griffin.
Most of the photos in his collection are duplicates of the official photos shown in the two sections above. I've shown only those which are missing in the above sections, as well as about 20 taken by Edmund (or with his camera by various people). Scans are courtesy of Edmund's son, Robert Ferris.
People identified so far: L/S J.R. Bertrand, Captain W.B. Creery, A/B M.S. Desmezes, Rev. I.R. Edwards, Major-General F.W. Festing, Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser, Major General Pan Hua Kue, Lt. T.A. Welch, Colonel Adrian Williamson, Capt. A.W.S. Wood.
Locations: Ceylon, Egypt, Hong Kong, Port Arthur (Ontario), Scotland,
Ships Shown: HMCS Cobalt (K124), HMCS Ontario, HMCS Pictou (K146), oiler Wave King. Section revised August 6, 2018.
TWELVE PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY LARRY VIPOND
Larry Vipond served in the Air Branch from October 1945 until December 1957, most of that time at HMCS Shearwater, and onboard HMCS Magnificent, HMCS Labrador and a few weeks onboard HMCS Buckingham. He left the RCN with the rank of P1PC3, then worked for Sikorsky Helicopters for two years. He then went to business school in New Haven, CT, and worked for a Connecticut bank for 27 years, retiring on Jan. 1, 1990. Section revised April 30, 2017.
These next two sections of Rick Faulkner and Dean Rogers are joined together as they both were in Skeena 2/61 division at HMCS Cornwallis, and were both in Term 15 of the Technical Apprentice Plan. Strangely enough, even though both were at the top of their class during basic training, they each decided the Navy wasn't for them and they took early release.
30 PHOTOS & TWO CLIPPINGS IN THIS SECTION BY RICK FAULKNER
Rick Faulkner says in an email: " It all started when I joined the "Admiral Hose RCSCC" in 1957, when I was 15 years old. After taking three summer courses back east during a four year hitch, in my 4th year I was awarded the "Admiral Hose Trophy" for best cadet of the year. I was navy bound. In my last year and a half, I also joined the HMCS Hunter reserve in Windsor, Ontario as a Bandsman. This is when I applied for the Navy Technical school as an Apprentice. While I was at HMCS Star, Hamilton Ontario, taking the bandsman course, (I had finished half my exams to sign on for the 7 year bandsman course at HMCS Naden) I was called for an interview for the Tech School Apprenticeship. One week later I was accepted, so back home I went. At HMCS Hunter, August 10, I signed on and became part of Skeena 2/61 at HMCS Cornwallis. I arrived at HMCS Naden in time for Christmas.
At the end of the 2nd year I failed out of the ERA Apprenticeship, and the only ship I had been on was HMCS Cape Breton. I decided to take the trades test and join the fleet, which I did on Feb 10, 1964 joining HMCS Saskatchewan as a Sonar Operator. This was a good move as this is when I decided the Navy was not for me. I was released in October, 1964 and started the 11 month welding course at the Nanaimo Vocational School, where I met my wife. Victoria's VMD shipyard is where I worked on the Sedco 135 F off-shore drill rig, as well as Construction and Saw Mills. I retired from the Crofton Pulp and Paper Mill in 1998.
A weird thought crossed my mind, all three vessels I worked on are in Davy Jones locker. The Cape Breton and Saskatchewan are artificial reefs off Nanaimo, and the Sedco rig sank in 1979 in the Gulf of Mexico. Hmmm, is there a common denominator here? If anyone can add their names to any photos, please do so, and I would like to hear from you. -- Rick Faulkner. " Section revised November 13, 2020.
SIX PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY DEAN ROGERS
Dean Rogers was in Skeena 2/61 Division during basic training at HMCS Cornwallis. He says: " I was a Sea Cadet in my teenage years and rose to be senior cadet in the corps. My plan was to make the Navy my career. I joined at Halifax on Aug. 11, 1961 as a member of the Technical Apprenticeship Plan, a seven year contract. I enjoyed my new entry training at Cornwallis, was a Class Captain and was awarded "Best All Round Man" at graduation.
In my second six months of trades training at Naden I became convinced that my career choice was a bad one. Morale was very low and long term prospects looked bleak. After several requests for release I was discharged, honourably, on Jan. 7, 1963. I enrolled that fall at the University of British Columbia and graduated several years later from Dalhousie University in Halifax with a B.Sc. in geology. I have worked most of the subsequent years as a field geologist in mineral exploration and petroleum drilling. "
Dean says he is eager to contact old friends from his Cornwallis days and hopes they will contact him because of seeing the photos on this website. Section updated January 12, 2018.
TEN PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY JEFF GRIFFITHS
Jeff Griffiths joined the Navy in February 1960, and was in Skeena 1/60 Division during basic training at HMCS Cornwallis. He was a Victualing Storesman (ABVS) and served on HMCS Inch Arran until May 1962 when he was discharged after 27 months of service.
Afterwards, he was a pipe welder fitter for 40 years, and belonged to Local 46 of the Plumbers, Steamfitters and Pipe Welders of North America. He lives with his wife in Fenelon Falls, Ontario.
18 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY DANIEL MORGAN MacNEILL
Iain MacNeill says this about his father: " My father, Daniel Morgan MacNeill (V46139) . . . was a Big Band musician prior to the war. He attempted enlistment at several locations in 1940 (Vancouver) and in 1941 (Edmonton) but was denied on account of his age -- 27 years being considered too old. He was finally accepted for enlistment in August 1942 at Chippawa Recruitment Centre in Winnipeg at 29, when the recruitment standards were relaxed. As it turned out he really was as good as he said he was -- he had skills the Navy couldn't teach. He never abused his recruits and was a very competent, confident man with an innate ability to inspire and motivate people leading by example. He was a good guy to have on your side when it counted most. "
He was promoted immediately to Leading Seaman at HMCS York where he was tasked with training recruits. Starting in late 1944, he served on the HMCS Swansea until the end of the war.
Several photos were obtained by Iain from the Buscombe family collection -- LS Howard Buscombe and Daniel Morgan MacNeill were instructors together at HMCS York and remained fast friends during the war.
Photos in Daniel's section are almost all group photos of training divisions at HMCS York in Toronto, 1943 and 1944. Surnames in photos are: Andrews, Belcher, Borrows, Burrows, Buscombe, Clarke, Copeland, Gray, Heintzman, Hipwell, Johnson, Knight, Lloyd, Long, MacNeill, Marshall, McGregor, McLean, McMahon, McMullen, Mulvihill, Murphy, North, O'Brady, Ogradnick, Ospreay, Perry, Pettingher, Ryan, Rylott, Scattergood, Seitz, Senyk, Smith, Sowtus, Taylor, Toms, Tonkin, Wallace, Webber, Winter. Section revised November 27, 2017.
114 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY JAMES M. ROSS
Stephen M. Ross sent me this collection of photos, almost all originals taken by his father James Macey Ross, during his time in the Navy during WW2. James took his basic training at HMCS Montcalm in Quebec City, in early 1944, then signals training at HMCS Hyacinthe (see 45th anniversary website) in St. Hyacinthe, QC. After completing his training, he served for a short time on the corvette HMCS Giffard, then until the end of the war as a signals and electronics operator aboard the frigate HMCS Jonquiere.
The photos and information were sent to me already formatted into a scrapbook, so I've tried to preserve the look of the original as much as possible.
People shown: Jimmy Anderson, John Beasley, Brown, Casemore, Greg Clancy, William (Bill) Dafoe, Davis, Ernie Eaton, Lieut. Edwards, Captain Kidson, Darcy Legros, Lieut. Moran, Chris Novak, Jack O'Hearn, Tom Oliver, Alan Ross, Alexander Ross, Barbara Ross, Dorothy Ross, James Ross, Lyall Ross, Marjorie Ross, plus many more people who are unidentified.
Ships shown: HMS Deptford; Empire Control (a supply ship); HMCS Giffard; HMCS Jonquiere; The Lady Rodney (a troop ship); HMS Ramillies; HMS Roberts; HMCS Sussexvale; The Vest (a freighter?); LST #326. Revised Oct. 29, 2015.
27 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY MIKE CASHABACK
Mike Cashaback was in Assiniboine 3/61 at HMCS Cornwallis, from September until December, 1961. He was drafted to HMCS Terra Nova along with Clyde Norman, Dave Sinclair, Jim MacLean, Bruce Murray, Vic French and probably a few more he can't remember. He was then drafted to HMCS Yukon, then being built in Vancouver, and was part of her commissioning crew on the 25th of May 1963. He served on her until his discharge in September 1964.
After leaving the Navy he changed one uniform for another by joining the Edmonton Fire Department where he spent 30 years, retiring as a Captain in 1994. He now lives in Spruce Grove, AB.
16 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY ERNEST HAROLD MASSICK
I received an email from Michele Massick whose husband's grandfather, Ernest Harold Massick, served as a Petty Officer on HMCS Skeena in 1934 and on HMCS Ontario during 1944-45. He also served on the mine sweeper HMCS Rockcliffe in 1947. He graduated from Fleet School in the early 1950's, retired as a Lt. Commander, and died in Qualicum Beach, BC, in 1977. He left behind a few photographs and not much information, so Michele is trying to piece together these loose threads to get a picture of his life. Section updated August 3, 2018.
20 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY FRED BERNHARD
Christina Bernhard's late husband, Klaus Hans Friedrich Bernhard, was born in 1936 in Vienna, Austria. He immigrated to Canada about 1957 and found employment with one of the railways. In May 1958, he joined the RCN for five years. After completion of basic training in HMCS Cornwallis in October 1958, he served on HMCS Saguenay, and the Tribal Class destroyer HMCS Athabaskan. After leaving HMCS Athabaskan, he spent 6 months at HMCS Stadacona where he attained the rank of ABEM1. In January 1960 he obtained an honorable discharge because of his mother's illness and he returned home to Vienna. During his time in the RCN he used the name Fred Bernhard. He and Christina met in Vienna in 1961 and they emigrated to Australia in 1966. Klaus died in April, 2014 in Tasmania, Australia. Revised December 23, 2019.
TEN PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY GORDON WENSLEY
Gordon Wensley joined the RCN in 1961 and was in Skeena 2/61 Division at HMCS Cornwallis during basic training. He served on HMCS Stettler until his release in 1964, with the rank of ABWS2.
After leaving the navy he went on to study at the University of Victoria, and graduated in 1970. He did graduate school at the University of Saskatchewan, then worked for the federal government until retiring in 1995. Section revised February 15, 2019.
47 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY JOHN ("JACK") McKIRDY MILLER
Tom Miller sent me these photos from his father's album. John ("Jack") McKirdy Miller (1920-2000) joined the navy through the Edmonton recruiting office in Oct. 1940 as a probationary steward. He spent his first year at Naden and Royal Roads, most likely in training. He served in the officers' mess on HMCS Prince Robert from October 1941 to November 1944 and left that ship as a Petty Officer steward. He was then stationed at Shelburne NS and HMCS Naden until he was demobilized in September 1945. He is identified in the ship's company photo in the History Section of this website. For more information on HMCS Prince Robert, please see the HMCS Prince Robert tribute site.
47 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY WILLIAM DALTON JOHNSTON & DONALD ROSS JOHNSTON
William Johnston sent me a collection of photos taken by his grandfather and by his father. His grandfather, William Dalton Johston, served on HMCS Niobe during WW1, and he was in Halifax at the time of the Halifax Explosion, December 6, 1917, when a munitions ship exploded in Halifax Harbour, destroying most of the downtown area. The explosion killed about 2,000 people and wounded about 9,000.
William's father, Donald Ross Johnston, served on the Flower class corvette, HMCS North Bay, which performed convoy duty in the North Atlantic during 1944-45.
February, 2016 -- Many thanks to National Archives military archivist Alex Comber for identifying and re-classifying most of these photos. The main problem is discovering where William Dalton Johnston actually served. Although he was technically a crew member of HMCS Niobe, that ship was a depot ship, and as such, loaned out crew to other ships on an as-required basis. Photo locations which had once been identified as HMCS Niobe, were identified by Alex Comber as being taken on HMT Olympic, one of the two sister ships of RMS Titanic. She was used as a troop carrier during WWI, and spent much of the war carying troops between Europe and Halifax. Other photos were taken on a ship much too small to have been either Niobe or Olympic, but was possibly a patrol ship, sweeper, or drifter, which has yet to be identified. In fact, the only photo which can be positively identified as HMCS Niobe is the group photo of 29 crew members, with Bernard Maurice Cocquyt positively identified, and another who is almost certainly William Dalton Johnston.
Photos were taken in Halifax harbour or at sea. The only person identified is William Dalton Johnston.
World War 1 ships identified: RMS Aquitania, RHS Araguaya, HMS Berwick, HMS Cornwall, HMS Devonshire, CS Lord Kelvin, RMS Olympic, Trawler TR-1, and German U-Boat UC-97.
World War 2 ships identified: HMCS Annapolis, HMCS Assiniboine, HMCS North Bay.
Section revised January 6, 2020.
21 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY ROBERT CREBER
Bob Creber served in the RCN from April 1954 to April 1959. He was in Saguenay Division during basic training at HMCS Cornwallis, and after that was in the communications supplement division. He served at HMCS Gloucester in Ottawa, HMCS Churchill in Manitoba on Hudson Bay, CFS Alert in the Northwest Territories and at Resolute Bay, also in the Northwest Territories.
Bob says he doesn't have too many photos left of his naval career, but those below were mostly taken at CFS Alert, and mostly in the pitch dark -- the sun was disappearing below the horizon when he arrived in August 1957, and was just re-appearing when he left in March 1958. He lives near Orlando, Florida.
17 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY KENNETH McCUISH
Kenneth McCuish was from New Glasgow, NS. He joined the RCN in 1951 at the age of 22 and retired in 1975. He was based in Halifax and remained there throughout his naval career. He served on the HMCS Magnificent, Nipigon, Iroquois, Nootka, Algonquin, Restigouche, Skeena, Swansea, and others. Most of these years he worked in the engine room of the ships. He was also based at HMCS Stadacona where he taught refrigeration. When he retired he immediately started his own successful refrigeration repair business in Halifax, which is still in operation today. He died in 1996 at the age of 67.
The photo series of 12 shots onboard ship during exercises in the Meditteranean and off the coast of England, were taken by Ken onboard the HMCS Magnificent in 1951 - 1952. The film containing these photos was developed and printed almost 50 years after they were taken when the film canister was discovered in the home of a friend in 1996, the year he died.
Ken's photos are courtesy of his daughter, Susan Logue. Unfortunately, her email address now bounces.
23 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY KEN BOWIE
Kenneth Bowie entered the Navy in the spring of 1941. He took basic training in Edmonton and Esquimalt, and served as a stoker aboard HMCS Prince Robert for four years. Just before his release at the end of the war he was part of the decommissioning crew of HMCS Kapuskasing in Halifax. He then returned home to Red Deer, Alberta.
After a few odd jobs he started Alberta Bowie Construction and became a prominent home builder for many years. He expanded the construction company into a subsidiary, Alberta Bowie Tile and Floor Coverings. An opportunity presented itself and he purchased Motor Inn Towing. He entered the oil and gas business, purchasing a bulk service station he named Bowie Bear Bulk. He then started two oil and gas drilling companies. He also ran a successful company called Happy Valley, teaching Calgarians how to ski. These successful ventures, particularly oil and gas, led him to become the owner and operator of Willow Park Golf and Country Club in Calgary. He is actively involved in the day-to-day operations, and started the Willow Park Charity Classic which has raised over $10,000,000 for various charities over the years, and continues to raise approximately $500,000 every year.
Not content to rest on his laurels, he recently created another new company in the restoration business. He reached another milestone on August 8th 2015, when he turned 90 years old (and going strong).
Ken's photos are courtesy of his son Melvin James Bowie. They include snaps of Ken in uniform as well as official navy photos of the crew and various individuals on board HMCS Prince Robert. Also included are official photos of the capture of two German U-boats -- U190 and U889, which surrendered in Newfoundland. There is also a photo of the crew of HMCS Kapuskasing, taken January 28, 1945. Section revised May 27, 2019.
20 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY VERNON CLARENCE MILLER
Vernon Clarence Miller entered the RCN April 13, 1943 and was discharged October 9, 1945. Not too much is known about his naval career, but he served most of his time on HMCS Tillsonburg, a Castle Class Corvette, which spent her entire time on convoy duty in the Atlantic. Photos were taken in Bermuda, London, England, Newfoundland and aboard ship. These photos are courtesy of his son Alan Miller. Section revised March 12, 2020.
14 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY ROGER LAMBERT
Roger Lambert says: " I joined the RCN in September 1959, and like those at that time I was sent by train to HMCS Cornwallis for basic training. With that completed I was instructed that I was chosen to attend Royal Roads for training as a helicopter pilot. I informed my Divisional Officer that I would not do so. I was "hauled-up" in front of the Executive Officer as a defaulter and was fined a month's pay for "behaviour unbecoming" and was then redirected to HMC Communications School in Cornwallis, to be trained as a Visual Communicator and at graduation became a Signalman.
" I served in HMCS Resolute and was then drafted to Stadacona to await the refit of HMCS Fort Erie. After joining Fort Erie in Saint John, NB and sailing in her for a period, I requested transfer to Communications Special and was sent to Ottawa, HMCS Gloucester for training. From there I was sent to HMCS Aklavik, Inuvik, Coverdale, Churchill, Alert, with a very short stay in Bermuda.
" I enjoyed my time as a "291er" working "down the hall" and with that group of 'sailors'. If you wish to learn more about the branch please visit Jerry Proc's website, where you will find a great deal of information on the "291er world".
" In 1970 I resigned from the RCN and went to work for Simpsons-Sears for 23 years, and then opened my own accounting/taxation practise until I mostly retired in 2000. I now work as a Senior Consultant, in taxation, for Canada's leading tax company. "
TWO PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY HOWARD "BUCK" BAKODY
David Bakody sent me these photos relating to his father, CERA Howard "Buck" Bakody, who was an instructor in Marine Technical Engineering at HMCS Cornwallis during World War 2.
David says ". . . he always spoke very highly of Cornwallis and was so fond of sailors/stokers and ERA's he instructed . . . he once mentioned it was hard sending them off to sea only to hear some were lost aboard the ships that were sunk by German U-boats."
SEVEN PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY GERRY McLENNON
Bryan McLennon sent me these photos of his father, PO Gerry McLennon, who was a bosun serving on HMCS Buckingham. The ship was stationed in Hamilton, Ontario, during the summer of 1959 for reserve training, and the ship's whaler crew, coxswained by PO McLennon, won the Carling Trophy in a race against 16 other entries. All but one of the photos are of the race, the whaler crew, and the trophy presentation.
FOUR PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY STEVE MONAHAN
The late Steve Monahan served on HMCS Ste Therese during 1944 and 1945. Not much information is available about his navy career, but the first photos show him as an Able Seaman, and by 1945 he was wearing a Sub-Lieutenant's uniform. His photos were sent to me by his nephew, Michael Monahan, who lives in Ireland. Steve died January 18, 2020. Section revised January 21, 2020.
77 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY CFB ESQUIMALT NAVAL & MILITARY MUSEUM
Many thanks to Tom Miller (see his father's photos on this website) for obtaining these photos from CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum, and especially to the museum itself for giving me permission to reproduce them on this website.
All of these photos are of HMCS Prince Robert and/or members of her crew, and span the years from about 1939 to 1945.
For many more photos, memories, diaries and anecdotes by HMCS Prince Robert crew members, please see the HMCS Prince Robert Tribute Website. Section revised December 30, 2019.
13 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY NEIL A. DUVAL
Many thanks to Jim Duval for thie collection of photos taken by his father, Lt. Neil A. Duval, mostly on HMCS Magnificent in 1950. Neil's navy career started during WW2 when he served as a stoker from July 1944 to May 1946. He then became a civilian fire-fighter with the Department of National Defense, Naval Service, until he re-joined the RCN in May 1949 with the rank of Lieutenant. He served variously at HMCS Stadacona, Magnificent, & Naden. He later served as Area Naval Fire Chief and Base Fire Chief at Naden, and in 1957 was promoted to Lieutenant-Commander. In 1959 he was appointed to Headquarters as Assistant Director of Fire-fighting, then appointed Director of Firefighting in 1960. Section added January 17, 2016.
EIGHT PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY KEN MARCHANT
Many thanks to Ken Marchant for this account of his World War Two career in the RCN. He joined at the age of 16 in July 1943 and served as a stoker on HMCS Antigonish from late 1943 to the end of the war. He prepared his own pdf file, which is published below. Section added April 7, 2016.
13 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY GEORGE ROBERT "BOB" COWIE
Many thanks to Mark Cowie for these photos found in his father's personal papers. Mark knows virtually nothing about his father's RCN career except that he served in Esquimalt. These photos show his father, George Robert (Bob) Cowie as an officer cadet. The prints are dated June 1956, and the locations seem to be Halifax or on-board an unknown ship, probably a frigate. Section revised January 5, 2020.
133 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY GERTRUDE "TRUDY" QUINN
Many thanks to Barbara (Good) Gateley for this collection of photographs belonging to her mother. Barbara writes in part: " Gertrude Alice (Quinn) Good joined the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service in September 1942. She trained in Galt, Ontario, Esquimalt, B.C. and Halifax, N.S. She worked mainly in Ottawa and was stationed at Kingsmill House. In the course of her duties, she met Franklin D. Roosevelt, Mme Chiang-Kai-Chek and Princess Alice who was the wife of the wartime Governor-General to Canada. Gertrude mostly known as "Trudy" by her mates, was demobilized in January 1946 whereupon she returned home to Bathurst, N.B.
" In August 1947 she married Gordon Franklin Good, who had served for six years overseas in the Carleton and York Regiment from New Brunswick. They participated in many battles, including the Battle of Ortona, breaking the Nazi stronghold in the east. Gordon died in 1981 and Gertrude died in 1985. "
Photos were taken in Galt & Preston, Ont.; Ottawa, Ont.; Halifax, NS; and Victoria, BC.
Many photos of people are unidentified, but some were noted:
Surnames of WRCNS Officers & Wrens: Alvey, Cameron, Campbell, Carlson, Carpenter, Corkchran, Crosby, Currie, Dawson, Ellah, Embury, Gillespie, Hancock, Heaven, Holroyde, Isherwood, Kidder, Kirby, Lamb, Lauzen, Lovatt, Mackie, Mason, Matusky, McFee, McLelland, Moggy, Parkin, Peden, Phillips, Quinn, Samuels, Sawley, Smith, Sturdee, Taylor, Thibodeau, Tunks.
Surnames of RCN men: Anderson, Baxter, Beck, Bennett, Froment, Gould, Gyllick, Hart, Humphries, Jones, Lister, Loggie, Mack, Malone, Oswald, Rattrey, Read, Renton, Schafer, Seaby, Simpson, Smith, Steele, Valenti, Warren, Wicks, York.
RCN Ships: Two photos were taken on board HMCS Uganda, in Victoria, BC. Section revised December 23, 2017.
19 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY ERNIE SCHOEN
Many thanks to Ernie Schoen's son, Irwin (Buzz) Schoen, for the photos in this section. He writes of his father:
" My father joined the RCNVR in Saskatoon, was trained at Naden and went overseas where he was in HMCS Haida's original ship's company until the end of the war. He was a Chief Steward in charge of the wardroom. He never talked about the war but there was an envelope with various pictures from that time in our house when we were growing up. If I remember rightly, he was friends with the photographer on the ship and many of the photos came from him. When my father died in 1983, I took the photos from the envelope that I wanted -- mainly ones with him in the picture and sent the rest (originals) off to some Haida Association address. I cannot remember what most of the other photos were of but I know there were shots of HMCS Athabaskan and certainly the one of the ship's company which is on the present Haida Association website. I do not know what ever happened to the photos I sent as I never heard back from anyone. The only photos I have left are the ones I sent you.
" My son was searching the internet last year and came across a photo of his grandfather in a file posted by Tom Miller. I did not know Tom, but his father Jack Miller (see Jack Miller's section on this website) trained at Naden with my father, and he and his future wife were best man and bridesmaid for my parents' wedding in Victoria before Dad shipped overseas. In contacting Tom, he also had many other photos from that time which our family has never seen. It was Tom who suggested I also forward whatever photos I have to you as well. " Section revised January 16, 2017.
SIX PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY NORMAN JOSEPHSON
Many thanks to Norman Josephson's son, Gord Josephson, for the photos in this section. He writes: " We found these and other pictures after the death of our mother. They were pictures of ships that my father had acquired during his service in the Canadian Navy at the time of the Korean war. My father (Norman Josephson) passed away when I was in my teens and he never was one to discuss his days in the service with us so we have no information from that period. . . . . could you please point me in the right direction to identify these ships? "
So far, there are four photos of ships -- three of HMCS Ontario and one of the submarine USS Queenfish tied up alongside what may be a Tribal class destroyer or HMCS Ontario. Two other photos are of a land base, probably HMCS Naden. Section added February 4, 2017.
FIVE PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY DANIEL EUGENE JOSEPH HAYDU
Many thanks to the late Daniel Haydu's sister, Barb Conroy, for these photos. She says Daniel was in Gatineau Division at HMCS Cornwallis during the winter of 1962. He trained as an engineer and served on HMCS Buckingham and HMCS Bonaventure, and left the navy at the end of his three-year term in 1964.
Danny then worked at the Prince George pulpmill in the steam plant, then Prince Rupert Hospital steam plant prior to retiring. He died in 2014. Section added February 8, 2017.
53 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY MARCEL (JOE) LESAGE
Many thanks to the late Joe Lesage's son, Richard Lesage, who sent me these copies of photos and documents in his father's collection. Richard says that his father enlisted in 1951 and retired in 1973. He passed away in 2008. He was a Naval Storesman and reached the rank of CPO2.
The photos and documents show that after basic training at HMCS Cornwallis, Joe Lesage served on HMCS Cape Scott, Magnificent, Ottawa, St Croix, Skeena, and CFAV Dundalk. He was also stationed at Kindley Air Force Base in Bermuda in 1954, and at various times at HMCS Hochelaga, Shearwater, Cornwallis, Stadacona, and Patricia Bay, BC. Section revised April 21, 2017.
33 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY LARRY THIVIERGE
Larry Thivierge joined the RCN in 1954 and was in Saguenay Division from April 12 to August 28, 1954. He was an Electrician's Mate and served on HMCS Magnificent, HMCS Lanark, and HMCS Stadacona. He served until 1959 and left with the rank of ABLM1.
Larry is a ham radio operator with the call sign of "VE3GT". More details on his ham radio career can be found on the qrz.com website. Enter his callsign VE3GT into the search box at the top left of that website, ensuring it is set to "By Callsign".
Surnames of identified people: Archer, Atkin, Benson, Bond, Bordinuck, Burleigh, Burnby, Case, Chabot, Chanin, Chapman, Cheyney, Clark, Creber, Cummings, Duggan, Duschene, Ferguson, Fisher, Frechette, Gamble, Glenn, Grimes, Hansen, Harris, Hermiston, Hutchinson, Johnson, Jones, Kitchen, Laframboise, Lang, Lawrence, Lepinski, Lowe, McGrath, McLeish, Miller, Newman or Neuman, Porteous, Preece, Quackenbush, Ramsbottom, Rayworth, Roue, Satchel, Shier, Simpson, Small, Stoddart, Tennant, Tennent, Thivierge, Turbide, Wakeford, Wentzell, White, Wright, Young, Zwicker.
Ships and land bases shown: NRS Churchill, HMCS Gloucester, HMCS Iroquois, HMCS Lanark, HMCS Magnificent, HMCS Stadacona, and USS Spikefish. Section revised September 10, 2017.
59 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY YVAN MARTINEAU
Yvan Martineau said in an email: " I came from a little town in the eastern townships of Quebec, called Coaticook, which produced six bandsmen to the RCN in the early 1950's. I joined in 1951 after turning 17. Went to HMCS Cornwallis for basic training until March 1952, then went to HMCS Naden on the west coast at the school of music for six months. I had a little spin on HMCS Ontario to give me a taster. Then back to the east coast -- unfortunately to HMCS Cornwallis -- for six months when I got to be a leading seaman.
" From there I was drafted onto HMCS Quebec in March in preparation for leaving for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth in May 1953. I spent most of my time on HMCS Quebec with interlude on and off to HMCS Stadacona. I must have spent nearly three years on board, which I really enjoyed. In 1954 I got promoted to P2BD3. The last five months of 1956 was spent at HMCS Cornwallis, and I was released three months early at the beginning of September to attend college in Toronto to redo my grade 12 and 13 in English before entering studies at the Memorial Chiropractic College, as I really needed to polish up and refine my English.
" However, in Toronto I had transfered to the naval reserve at HMCS York, and played solo clarinet in the band for the whole five years. After two years there I got my P1BD3. This arrangement worked out very well as most of their activities were weekends and evenings which did not intefere with my studies and at the same time earned a bit of money. I finally graduated in 1961 and had to abandon the RCN -- a sad day!
" I came to England after graduation and met with a few friends and ended up staying here. I retired 20 years ago when my son took over the Clinic. It has been a very good life. "
Surnames of identified people: Alexander, Basdeen, Boily, Brandes, Carroll, Champoux, Charbonneau, Clark, Colleage, Delamont, Denovan, Devost, Dillon, Donovan, Dube, Griffiths, Harding, Martineau, Mass, McGuire, Morrison, Mundy, Nold, Orser, Ottman, Patterson, Perkins, Puskas, Reed, Reid, Scott, Simmons, Sirois, Sirola, Smith.
Ships shown: HMCS Algonquin, Iroquois, Magnificent, Quebec, HMS Morecamb Bay, Sheffield, Vanguard. Section added July 5, 2017.
32 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY JOHN & ROBERT SALMOND
I received an email from Tara Kennedy, who said: " Both of my mother's brothers, Robert and John Salmond, served in the Canadian navy in the 1950s to 1970s. I have several pictures of the HMCS Bonaventure. I am not sure which one served on the ship though as they have both passed. "
Based on the opinion of their only remaining sibling, a younger sister, the family thinks it was John who served on HMCS Bonaventure. At least one photo proves that he also served on HMCS Cape Breton. It is probably that Robert took the two photos of the drydock at HMCS Naden. Robert died in 1994 and John died in 2011, so there is no way other than obtaining their service records, to tell who served where and when.
Robert is shown at left, in Winnipeg, in 1951. The colour portrait is of John, probably mid-1950's. Section revised October 24, 2017.
48 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY GEORGE SCHMIDT
I received an email from Robyn Barker, who said: " I recently digitalized a number of my grandfather's photos from WWII. He (George Schmidt) was on the HMCS Prince Robert in the Pacific . . . . Like most he didn't talk about it and when he died he took a lot of those details with him. "
Many of these photos were taken of, and near, Percé Rock in the Gaspé, where George Schmidt underwent training. There are several photos taken of and on Fairmiles (hull numbers Q053, Q083, Q085 are clearly shown) -- see "The Fairmiles: Canada's Little Ships". There are many photos of crew members, both lower deck and officers, but they all seem to have been taken on Fairmiles. There is also a shot of an unknown jetty where the cars parked are from the 1950's or 1960's. But I can't place any of the photos on HMCS Prince Robert. Section added August 30, 2017.
32 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY EDWARD JOHN VOKEY
Edward John Vokey was in the RCN from 1952 to 1957, and had the rank of LSAR1 (Air Rigger) when he was discharged. During his career he served on land bases HMCS Donnacona, Cornwallis, Shearwater, & Stadacona, as well as on the aircraft carrier HMCS Magnificent.
These photos are courtesy of his daughter, Debbie Ann Vokey. Section added January 14, 2018.
TWELVE PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY ROBERT (BOB) ULMER
Robert (Bob) Ulmer emailed me about photos belonging to his father, also Robert (Bob) Ulmer. Originally from Saskatchewan, Bob Sr. served in the RCNVR from August 1943 to September 1945. After basic training at HMCS York and HMCS Cornwallis, he served on HMCS Provider, based in Bermuda. He died at age 88, in 2004. Photos added February 13, 2018.
TWELVE PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY ROBERT (BOB) HOLMWOOD
I received an email from Nickol Dawson who is trying to find information about her late grandfather, Robert (Bob) Holmwood. About all that is known about his Navy career was gleaned from a set of photos she emailed me, plus copies of a couple of documents.
Bob Holmwood joined the RCN around 1954, based on the cars parked near the parade square at HMCS Cornwallis. He served at HMCS Shearwater and on HMCS Bonaventure. In the January, 1959 issue of The Crowsnest, Robert W. Holmwood is listed as being promoted to the rank of LSAT2 (Leading Seaman Air Technician, Trade Group 2) and before he left the RCN (probably before 1966) he had qualified as an LSAT3, and his speciality was helicopter maintenance.
Most of the photos show hovercraft at various locations. It is possible that after leaving the Navy he worked for Britten-Norman, a British manufacturer of aircraft and hovercraft. At some point he and his family lived on Seafury Drive, Shearwater, Nova Scotia. Section added February 12, 2018.
18 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY ROD (ROCKY) ROCKWELL
Rod "Rocky" Rockwell was born in Amherst N.S. and joined the navy at HMCS Scotian on Feb. 10 1961. He was in Restigouche 1/61 Divison at HMCS Cornwallis during basic training, and became an Electrician's mate.
He sailed on HMCS Chaudiere, Granby, Ottawa, Bras D'Or, Nipigon, Athabaskan, Huron, and did a couple of stints at FMG(A) and FDU(A), Fleet School, finishing up on the Canadian Patrol Frigate Project (CPFP) in Saint John, N.B. He retired in May 1990 with the rank of C2ET and immediately went to work for the Shipyard in Quality Assurance. After the end of CPFP he continued to work on and off with the Shipyard until the late 1990's when he retired for good. Section revised March 2, 2018.
SIX PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY RAYMOND ERNEST GARD
Raymond E. Gard's son, Cdr. (Ret) Bill Gard, said in various emails: " My father was born in Toronto in 1918 and passed away in Etobicoke, ON, in 2000 in his 83rd year. His oldest brother, Fred Gard, passed away in his 105th year in Saute Ste. Marie on 29 May 2019. Dad was one of five brothers who all served in WWII and all came home.
" He joined at HMCS York in 1942 at the age of 24. He couldn't join sooner as his mother depended on him to help the family as she was a widow with eight children. I am sure he would have sailed in other ship(s) and I am not sure which ones. His main ship was the corvette K-169, HMCS Rosthern, (where he served as a stoker). " Section revised April 3, 2021.
31 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY BILL BOWMAN
Section revised February 13, 2019.
25 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY GORDON STEWART
Gordon Stewart joined the RCN in November, 1954. He was held back until January 6, 1955, then did his basic training at HMCS Cornwallis in Vancouver V Division until June 4, 1955. He served on HMCS Micmac for two years and on HMCS Athabaskan for seven months, and left the navy in 1960 with the rank of LSTD2. Section revised October 31, 2018.
TEN PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY DOUGLAS COMBER
Dave Comber said in an email: " My dad, Douglas Comber, is turning 100 years young on Jan 14 (2019) . . . . He still golfs and drives a car. He is also self-dependent (to a degree if you don't count a cleaning lady). I believe he served from 1939-45. His brother Keith (who sadly just passed) was lent to the Royal Navy during the war. "
On November 20, 2019, Dave emailed: " . . . . just a short note to let you know that my Dad passed away early this morning (Nov 20) at Peterborough Regional HC. His 100+ heart finally gave out but he passed peacefully and comfortably. I had the pleasure of golfing with him just in September so he did enjoy a full life. "
Douglas Comber served on HMCS Lynx (Z07), an armed yacht, about 1941-42, and then on HMCS Kootenay after it was transfered from the RN to the RCN in 1943. Section revised November 21, 2019.
21 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY BOB STEVENSON
Bob Stevenson says: "I enlisted from Montreal after being told by the Air Force that they only wanted cooks! Was in for 5 years from March 1958 to March 1963. Did the Cornwallis thing and in August 1958 I went to HMCS Shearwater on a Air Fitter's 6 month course at NAMS. Drafted to VS880 Squadron for the duration of the 5 years. Had two cruises on HMCS Bonaventure during that time. " Section revised February 18, 2020.
21 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY WES CLARK
Wes Clark's son, Dave Clark says: " My dad was Wes Clark CPO RCN. . . . . Names like Ken Johnson and Ken Lloyd remind me of my times at the HMCS Discovery Chiefs and PO's Mess with my mom and dad playing bingo. Robert 'Boots' Green, CPO BEM, Dave Williams Chief Stoker DSM, and George Vander Hagen CPO DSM, Ben Southon WO OBE, are either family friends, or connected by family, that I have sought to remember. "
Wes Clark served in the RCN from 1937 to 1958. Ships he served on include: HMCS/HMS Skeena, St laurent, Assinboine, Cobalt, Outarde, Bayfield, The Pas, Ribble, Warrior, Ontario, Crusader, Sault Ste Marie, New Glasgow. Stone Frigates include: HMCS Naden, Stadacona, Hochelaga, Peregrine, Cornwallis, Givenchy, Discovery. Section revised April 25, 2021.
ELEVEN PHOTOS & ONE CREW LIST IN THIS SECTION BY CHARLES MacDONALD
Charles MacDonald says: " I served in the RCN from 1957 To 1963. I joined in Halifax, (and was immediately) posted to HMCS Loon as it was short-staffed because of a flu epidemic and the ship was short of crew. I then went to HMCS Cornwallis, Ottawa Division, (then) drafted to the Commissioning of HMCS Restigouche as a OSLM. (Then) to HMCS Stadacona for 3's course, then to HMCS Shearwater, 880 Squadron, with many detachments to HMCS Bonaventure. I was on board when we picked up survivors and dead of the crash of the Flying Tigers air-line that crashed in the mid-Atlantic (23 September, 1962 -- see the memorial website).
" I signed on for an additional year during The Cuban missle crisis and sailed on the Bonnie for the Russian Ship Blockade. Then went to the DEW Line for four years as a civilian and watched for Russian bombers as part of the Cold War. " Section revised March 12, 2020.
20 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY GORDON HUNTER
Gordon Hunter says: "At 17, I was a wide-eyed, naïve kid who just needed to get on with his life so, in the summer of 1962, with few options open to me and looking for adventure, I stepped off into the deep end and joined the Royal Canadian Navy.
"In August 1962 I boarded the train in Montreal and joined a bunch of other guys who, along with me were told when we reached HMCS Cornwallis for the 16 week ritual humiliation the Navy called New Entry Training, that we were now Gatineau Division 2-62.
"Before Cornwallis was quite done with us the Cuban Crisis unfolded. The group a week ahead of us was sent to sea and we were kept in Cornwallis for several weeks doing whatever they could find to keep us busy.
"In January 1963 I was drafted onto HMCS La Hulloise, on old Prestonian Class Frigate. From there it was off to a couple of Destroyer Escorts, first HMCS Gatineau, then HMCS Restigouche.
"In 1968 I volunteered for the Submarine Service as an LSSN and served mainly onboard HMCSubmarine Onondaga, although at one point, when the Okanagan was short handed and needed a sonarman I made a pierhead jump and went to sea on her for a couple of weeks.
"With integration coming on, I left after eight years. I couldn't see myself wearing that green uniform with a peaked cap.
"Upon leaving I took Communications Arts at Mount Royal College in Calgary and worked in both Radio and Television for several years. From there I took a job with NABET, the union representing Broadcast workers and eventually became National President.
"I worked for almost 30 years in organized labour and after retiring, looking for a creative outlet, I wrote No-Badge Killick, a memoir about life at sea in Canada's Cold War Navy --
18 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY BILL KILLAM
Many thanks to Kathryn Killam, who says in part: " I have photos from my father's time in the war 1939 to 1945. He was First Officer in the Engine Room on a number of Corvettes. His name was Bill Killam, and he was from Liverpool, Nova Scotia. I see from some of the men's collections that there are photos of the Cobalt in Liverpool being refitted. Are any of the men from that time, that corvette, still alive I wonder? " Section added June 24, 2020.
THREE PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY ROGER RAYNER
Roger Rayner says: " I served from 1960 to 1980 -- served on HMCS Bonaventure, Inch Arran, Saguenay, St Laurent, Nipigon, and Preserver, as naval storesman. Also on bases HMCS Stadacona, HMCS Shearwater and CFB Summerside. I retired (from the RCN) in 1980.
" (Then) I got a job working for the NATO depot as a civilian. Our headquarters was SACLANT HQ, Norfolk Virginia. We supplied items for their datcom sites in Europe, Canada, and USA. I retired in 2002. " Section added August 26, 2020.
102 PHOTOS & ONE DIARY IN THIS SECTION BY COLIN MURDO NICOLSON
After Eric Nicolson identified his father, Colin Murdo Nicolson, in a photo of the crew of HMCS Sioux, (click here to see that photo) he then told me in another email: " My family also retains old photographs taken aboard the Sioux during 1944-45 and my father kept a diary for that time. I do not know if these items have any interest for you but I would be happy to scan and forward them should you determine that they may be of value . . . . "
Colin Murdo Nicolson was from Port Arthur, Ontario (now part of the city of Thunder Bay), and that's where he joined the RCNVR in late 1943, at the age of 18. He took his basic training in western Canada -- almost certainly at HMCS Naden -- and joined the newly-commissioned HMCS Sioux in Portsmouth, England, on Feb. 22, 1944. He served on her until the end of the war.
Eric isn't sure that his father had his own camera, but he describes him as a pack-rat, so he must have acquired these photographs from others. But most importantly, he kept a daily journal of his time on the Sioux. Like most sailors he was obsessed with the weather and his lack of sleep -- "Sleep? What's that?" -- but what really comes through is the horror of what he witnessed, and how he managed to block most of it from his mind.
The ship was lucky -- although there were many engagements with the enemy, they escaped major damage, and the only two deaths were from accidents. But this self-described matelot spent nearly every waking moment on the upper deck, standing endless watches in the wet, freezing cold, or as part of a gun crew as they were attacked by aircraft or submarines, or on one occasion, artillery from a battery on land. He was often in a haze of exhaustion but still managed to write down his thoughts. He died in 2007. He left us an enduring legacy. Section Revised November 13, 2020.
56 PHOTOS IN THIS SECTION BY FRED HOLLANDS
The late; Fred Hollands joined the RCNVR during WW2, serving on HMCS Nootka, HMCS Iroquois and HMCS Skeena. In 1942 he was part of HMCS Skeena's crew when that ship was transferred to 3rd Canadian Escort Group and joined HMCS Saguenay, and the corvettes HMCS Wetaskiwin, Sackville, Gault, & Camrose, to escort Atlantic convoys between St. John's Newfoundland and Londonderry, Northern Ireland. On July 31, 1942, HMCS Skeena shared credit with HMCS Wetaskiwin for sinking German submarine U-588, north-east of St. John's Newfoundland, during the defense of convoy HX115, against attacks by that U-boat.
Fred was part of the ship's company of HMCS Iroquois when they provided an offensive role as well as convoy escort duties in the Bay of Biscay, the English Channel, and off the French, Norwegian and North Russian coasts with the '3rd Destroyer Flotilla' and 'Plymouth Command' of the British Home Fleet. He took a lot of photographs during his time in the Navy but the ones that survived are primarily from his days on the St. John's - Londonderry run. Fred died January 27, 2006 in Edmonton.
Fred Hollands came from a family with a long history with the Royal Canadian Navy. His father, Henry Hollands, was a stoker in the Royal Navy, and was a member of the crew that sailed HMCS Niobe from Portsmouth England to Halifax, arriving in that city October 21st, 1910 -- his last name was mistakenly listed as "Holland" in the 1911 Canadian Census (click/tap here to see the crew list on this website). Fred and his brother, Frank Hollands, joined the RCNVR together, and Fred's son, Fred Hollands Jr., who provided these photos, served in the RCN from 1962 until 1970. When Fred Jr. decided not to re-enlist he was a Leading Seaman, Weapons Underwater, and had served on HMCS Gatineau, Restigouche, Fraser & Provider.
It is through the courtesy of Fred Hollands Jr., that we are privileged to see his father's photos. He was helped and encouraged by former shipmate, Gordon Hunter (see Gordon's section on this website) -- they sailed together on HMCS Gatineau & Restigouche, in the 1960's. Section Added February 2, 2021.
HISTORY SECTION : 120 PHOTOS, THREE CREW LISTS & FIVE VIDEO LINKS
This section contains historical photos related to the RCN. If you have any photos in your family album, taken by yourself, or perhaps a friend or relative, please send me a scan as I would love to use it in this section.
Surnames in this section: This is not a complete list -- for example, the complete ships' companies of HMCS Aurora, Niobe, Patrician, Patriot, and Rainbow are listed, per the 1911 and 1921 censuses. The casualties of HMCS Athabaskan, which was sunk April 29, 1944, are also not listed here. Adams, Akers, Alexander, Arkwright, Armstrong, Arnott, Arpin, Atherton, Atkinson, Bankes, Beal, Beaupre, Bell, Bennet, Benson, Biletchi, Binnie, Birchall, Block, Blyth, Bordinuck, Borglund, Bowen, Boyd, Bridgman, Brosseau, Browett, Brown, Callanan, Campbell, Carmichael, Carr, Carter, Cherry, Clark, Clarke, Clason, Clement, Colburn, Cole, Commerford, Connors, Corbet, Couvrette, Coyle, Creber, Creechan, Creed, Crocker, Crone, Culmer, Davis, Dawson, Day, De'Ath, Dean, Derouin, Dicy, Domshy, Donaldson, Douglas, Dubbs, Duhamel, Dunn, Duy, Eaglesham, Ecclis, Edwards, Ellliott, Forbes, Gagnier, Gallant, Ghel, Gillis, Giroux, Glover, Goldfinch, Gourley, Grant, Granville, Gray, Greer, Gregory, Gunn, Haliday, Hall, Hamm, Handley, Hansen, Hart, Hatt, Hawkins, Heaney, Hearn, Helfrich, Hill, Holowaty, Hood, Howe, Isbell, Jamieson, Jeandron, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnston, Jones, Kennedy, Kernaghan, Kiren, Kite, Knight, Knox, La Roche, Laliberte, Lang, Langley, Lapierre, Lawrie, LeVere, Lee, Leitch, Leonard, Lindley, Livingstone, Long, Longbottom, Longstaff, Lowe, MacLellan, MacMillan, Makeranko, Marlatt, Martin, Mazur, McCullough, McDowell, McEwan, McGinnis, McKenzie, McMillan, McMurdo, McNeil, McWilliams, Meek, Mercer, Merril, Miller, Mitchell, Montague, Montgomery, Monture, Moore, Morina, Mosley, Murray, Musgrave, Nairn, Naughton, Nelson, Newell, Nicolson, Oberich(?), Olson, Page, Passerini, Patterson, Paxton, Peach, Pearson, Peebles, Pelletier, Philley, Poirier, Pope, Porth, Pronych, Randall, Rayworth, Reid, Rennie, Richards, Ritchie, Robertson, Robinson, Roruiq, Ross, Rowland, Ryan, Samson, Seaborn, Seal, Seeley, Seguin, Seymour, Simmons, Simpson, Sivertz, Small, Smith, Sockett, Spears, Speers, Sproston, St Pierre, Stapleton, Starr, Storey, Swainson, Sykes, Tassell, Taylor, Theriault, Thivierge, Thomas, Thompson, Tinkess, Trottier, Turbide, Tushingham, Vokey, Vollet, Walters, Webber, Webster, White, Wilkinson, Williamson, Wilson, Wood, Wright, Yorke, Young.
Ships or crews shown in this section: HMCS Beacon Hill, HMCS Bonaventure, HMCS Carlplace, HMCS Chilliwack, HMCS Cornwallis, HMCS Huron, HMCS Kamsack, HMCS Kings, HMCS Loch Morlich, HMCS Naden, HMCS Niobe, HMCS Nootka, HMCS Ontario, HMCS Peregrine, HMCS Prince Robert, HMCS St Laurent, HMCS Sioux, HMCS Ste Therese, HMT Thalia or HMT Jackdaw, HMCS Thetford Mines, HMCS York. Section revised April 29, 2021.
CHRISTMAS CARD SECTION : FIVE CARDS
This section contains Christmas cards issued by HMC ships and establishments. Please send me images of cards missing here.
Ships' cards in this section: NRS Churchill, HMCS Grandmere, HMCS Lanark, HMCS Springhill, HMCS St Croix. Section revised July 26, 2020.
HMC SHIPS -- ORIGINALS AND DND PHOTOS
Click here to see this section of photos of RCN Ships, mostly without members of the crew visible. Most are DND photos but some are originals taken by those who submitted them to me. There are many other such photos in the sections above and I don't intend to re-shuffle the items on the website, so they'll stay there. Section revised November 27, 2020.
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