Royal Canadian Navy : Charles Dobie


Charlie Dobie Charlie Dobie, 2013

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 at HMCS Cornwallis, and in January 1961 was posted to HMCS Ste. Therese, in Victoria BC. I served on Ste Therese as a sonar­man (OSSN & ABSN) for the duration of my time and was released about July or August, 1963. Section updated September 14, 2016.

Basic Training : HMCS Cornwallis, 1960

When I left for basic training I was given a train ticket and told to be in Montreal by a certain time. The train had been collecting recruits all the way from the west coast so by the time it reached Thunder Bay it was a moving riot. I took a few photos in Montreal as we wandered around with several hours to kill before we caught the train to Moncton.

Recruits in Dominion Square (now Square Dorchester), Montreal. Four tired and slightly stunned RCN recruits killing time in Montreal. Surnames: Buck, Hergott.

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RCN recruits killing time in Montreal. The Sun Life building is in the background so they're on Dorchester Blvd. (now Boulevard Rene-Levesque). Surnames: Buck, Hergott.

Assiniboine 2/60, unofficial photo. The group I joined with were assigned to Assiniboine 2/60 Division. No photographer was available so no official "before" photo was taken.

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Assiniboine 2/60 official graduation photo We were told we were the sorriest bunch of misfits to pass through Cornwallis in many years, but you wouldn't know it from these happy faces. Updated March 2, 2014.

HMCS Ste Therese : photos from 1961 to 1963
HMCS Ste Therese

This photo is of HMCS Ste Therese leaving Esquimalt Harbour for Long Beach and Pearl Harbour, June 1962. I am one of the men on the foc'sle and Robert Berbeck is one of the men on the flag deck. DND photo submitted by Robert Berbeck.

Ship's company photo, August 1961. This official photo was taken when we were visiting San Francisco. Many men are identified but most are not. Updated Sept. 14, 2016.

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RCN Frigates at Pier 1 in San Francisco, August 1961. At least four frigates were tied up at this jetty and Ste Therese is one of them.

Foc'sle crew, August 1961. Preparing to leave San Francisco. Surnames so far: Abrams, Brown, Campbell, Compton, Sjolie.

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Most of the weapons department, 1962/63. Taken at sea, 1962 or the first half of 1963. Surnames: Boyce, Brown, Caruthers, Compton, Dobie, Egger, Elgert, Evans(?), Hall, Hammett, Hegler, Kutzner, Lawson, Leeming, Leyden, McCaughey, Trick, Wakefield, Waldron, Willway.

Foc'sle crew, Queen Charlottes. Possibly in Rennell Sound, but could be anywhere. As always, it was cold. Surnames so far: Bernard, Campbell, Daniels, Waters.

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Crew on the quarterdeck in coastal waters. General view with some of the crew in the distance.

Daily rum ration. Location seems to be Esquimalt Harbour. Three men are now identified: Alford, Compton and Toth.

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Lifeboat crew on an exercise. Hanging from the davits somewhere at sea. Names so far: Dahl, Owens, Srubowich.

Doing maintenance on the 4-inch gun. ABWS Fisher and OSWS Daniels are freezing their butts off but still smiling.

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Officer cadets & anti-submarine mortars. About a dozen cadets standing around the Squid-well waiting for something to happen. Names so far: Demchuck and Hoffman.

Frigates in San Francisco, August 1961. A general view over the quarterdecks of two ships, one of which must be the Ste Therese.

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Ashore for a few hours in Tasu Sound. We were in the Queen Charlottes so it had to be winter. Three men almost smile for the camera. Two are AB Ted Hamilton (Thorne) & LS Ralph Oggelsby.

Ashore for a few hours in Tasu Sound. Crew members hamming it up for the camera. Surnames so far: Demchuk, Hamilton (Thorne) Oggelsby, Patterson, Toth.

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ABSN Charlie Dobie I finally found another photo of myself to prove that it all actually happened. Taken on one of the Hawaii cruises.

At sea off Diamond Head. Two photos. Crew members gaze at Diamond Head or pretend to work. Surnames: Bigcanoe, Egger, Graw, Hawkes, Hoffman.

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Two of the crew having a conversation. Ordinary Seamen Yeager and Srubowich, both bosuns.

Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco. Three Ste Therese sailors lean on each other at Fisherman's Wharf, 1961. Surnames: Mullin, Sjolie, Wurtz.

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A Leading Seaman in the weapons department. I took this photo for him but now I can't remember his name.

Egger and Derkacz square off in the mess-deck. But there's no contest here when it comes to beer guts.

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Egger and Waldron clean a winch cover. Both were members of the weapons department.

Crew member, inland waters. OSRP Wright looking at the view.

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In front of the 4-inch gun. OSWS Fred Elgert, weapons surface.

Anchored in coastal waters. OSSN Robbin Wakefield.

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In Esquimalt Harbour. OSWS Robert Egger, weapons surface.

Anchored in coastal waters. Three shipmates: Boyce, McFarlane and unknown.

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Caught in the act of working. LSWS Hall, OSWS Leyden and OSWS Elgert do maintenance on the Bofors AA guns.

Sailing in Alaskan waters. OS Wayne Anaka with Alaska or BC in the distance.

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Bentick Island demolitions course, 1963. An instructor explains why we can't put lit cigarettes into those little cans or hit them with hammers.

Bentick Island demolitions course, 1963. OS Hawkes, Spooner and Wakefield with plastic explosives.

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Bentick Island demolitions course, 1963. Instructors watch men place explosives connected by primacord.

HMCS Beacon Hill anchored. This is probably the anchorage at Pat Bay but I'm not sure.

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HMCS Margaree and a frigate anchored. This was probably taken at the same Pat Bay anchorage.

Esquimalt Harbour, Victoria BC : photos from 1961 to 1963

Destroyer Escorts in Esquimalt. HMCS Assiniboine, HMCS Ottawa and HMCS Margaree.

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HMCS Grilse at the jetty in Esquimalt. Two photos. The conning tower is covered with tarps so it was undergoinig maintenance of some sort.

HMCS Ottawa at the jetty while HMCS Cape Breton leaves Esquimalt Harbour, Sept. 1962.

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HMCS Grilse in Esquimalt Harbour Taken from the quarterdeck of HMCS Ste Therese as HMCS Grilse appeared through the fog.

HMCS Cape Breton at Esquimalt View of Esquimalt harbour with HMCS Cape Breton on her way out, Sept. 1962.

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General view of Esquimalt Harbour with the visiting British cruiser HMS Belfast at one of the jettys in the distance.

RCN-Related photos taken ashore, 1961 to 1963

Native totem poles in Beacon Hill Park, Victoria. Unknown Ste Therese crew member. I took this photo for him so I hope he has a copy.

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Driving to Winnipeg, summer of 1961. OS Ron Healey and I joined another sailor who owned a car and we drove to Winnipeg.

Ashore in wildest Hawaii. Several of us were escorted around Hawaii by an American sailor. Here we are at some sort of wild west theme village. Surnames so far: Anaka, Leyden.

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Ashore near Juneau Alaska, 1963. AB Balloid, Daniels, Lawson in front of the Mendenhall glacier.

Ashore near Juneau Alaska, 1963. AB Charlie Dobie -- the photographer gets his photo taken in front of the Mendenhall glacier.

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Doris Day in Long Beach, 1963. Three Canadian sailors with Doris Day during the filming of "Move Over Darling".

Ashore in Victoria, 1962/3. OSSN Wakefield, OSSN Hegler and a German sailor at Wakefield's parents' home in Victoria.

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Relaxing at Waikiki Beach, 1963. Sailors from HMCS Ste Therese at Fort DeRussy on Waikiki Beach. 3 photos. Surnames: Egger, Hawkes, Patterson, Pesclevich, Pounder, Weir, Yeager.

Two Ste Therese sailors in Vancouver. OS Lucien Douville and OS Philip Mullin are caught by a street photographer in Vancouver, Jan. or Feb., 1962.


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