For Posterity's Sake
A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project
Service information for:
Brief Service Auto-Biography
In December 1949 volunteered for the RCN at HMCS York, Toronto.
On the Morning of February 4th, 1950 I was sworn in to RCN at HMCS York. I was advised to be at Union Station, Toronto, by 10.30 that night properly dressed with an empty suitcase, civvies to be sent home.
I arrived at Cornwallis early Monday morning of the 6th, and we were marched to Galley for a breakfast of Red Lead & Bacon, (I still have a feed now and then). Marched to stores, stripped of all clothing even tooth brushes, given a severe haircut, packed all other belongings in suitcase to be sent home. Confined to barracks for two weeks, deemed unfit to mingle with rest of Ships Company.
In June 1950, I was drafted to HMCS Ontario and travelled to west coast via ship and rail. Served in Ontario with then Captain Hugh Pullen. He cleared decks almost every morning to announce we were going to join the fight in Korea, and Joe Stalin would tremble in his boots, "they will hear our guns in the streets of Moscow"!! Don’t know about Stalin but it certainly had us concerned. In February 1951 I was drafted to Halifax, Stadacona. I left Victoria on a Tuesday morning, ship and rail to Halifax. I arrived in Toronto Friday afternoon to change trains - as Toronto was my home went home for the weekend. Resumed journey east on Monday morning, arriving Stadacona Main Gate late Tuesday afternoon and was promptly given 7 days cells AWOL. I was at Stadacona couple weeks before being drafted to Magnificent. I arrived aboard in time for supper with the Dog Watch hands, and we sailed for Caribbean next morning. I was in Magnificent until January of 1952 then Stadacona for AA 3 course. In March of 1952 I was drafted back to Magnificent, steamed many miles until January of 1954.
I was drafted ashore to HMCS Star, (Hamilton). What a collection of (Reserve) PRICKS!!! Served there until April, drafted to Stadacona for an AA2 course, by this time I was moved up to Leading Seaman.
April 1954, Stadacona on 2`s course. June 1954 class of AA 2s and AA 3s sailed in Micmac DDE 214 under command of Commander George (Trigger) Wadds, to qualify on 3" 50 Cal. Mount. Visited St, George`s Bermuda, and returned to Halifax. I was drafted to HMCS Star in August.
In January of 1955 I was drafted to HMCS York, Toronto. Was asked to re-engage, and if so would remain there for a year.
I was honourably released on February 3rd, 1955. I joined North York Police March 1st, 1955 which in 1957, was amalgamated into Metropolitan Toronto Police in 1957.
Short Police Yarn
Christmas Day 1955, my 1st, Christmas after leaving Navy and I`m working day shift. Family of four, two adults 2 children, travelling road North end of city attempted to out-run a passenger train, it was a tie. Wreckage, Christmas presents, toys, body parts strewn for ¼ mile along the right of way.
I had 33 more Christmas' to go.
Ships served in:
HMCS ONTARIO - Jun 1950 - Feb 1951
HMCS MAGNIFICENT - Mar 1951 - Jan 1952 // Mar 1952 / Jan 1954
HMCS MICMAC - Apr 1954 - Aug 1954
(GS01) The firing A and B turrets on HMCS ONTARIO - August 1950 - see ALSO RCN Memories - The Big "O's" Guns
(GS02) Ordinary Gerald Sullivan on the boat deck, starboard side, HMCS ONTARIO, August 1950
(GS03) Canteen card of OS Gerald Sullivan - 1950
(GS04) HMCS ONTARIO station card of OS Gerald Sullivan
(GS05) HMCS ONTARIO in drydock in 1950 - Esquimalt, Yarrows Dry Dock, at that time one of the largest dry docks in the world. ONTARIO, AKA the “Big O” in dry dock, note the coastal vessel astern. When ship is secured the water is pumped out and braces placed as it lowers. When approximately 18 – 20 inches remain pumps stopped, dock yard workers done hip waders and descend into dock armed with pitch forks. North Pacific salmon some as long as your arm trapped in the dock. Sea birds, cormorants, gulls feasting on smaller fish while the dock yard workers spear the salmon. The ship is still, no fans, motors, systems running, no vibrations, nothing. An 11000 ton floating weapons platform with 800 crew - its as if she was dead with shore power for lights only. We used Heads ashore and meals in Naval base (Naden). Heads were very interesting for a 19 year old from the city; they were designed for Muslim crews using them. Never did see any of the salmon.