Royal Canadian Navy : Fred Hollands


Portrait of Fred Hollands at HMCS Cornwallis during WW2

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.

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