For Posterity's Sake
A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project
They made the Ultimate Sacrifice
PARTANEN, Vaino Olavi, CV, CD, CPO1, 8833-H, RCN, Died 23 Oct 1969, HMCS KOOTENAY - Son of Ivar Partanen of LaSalle, QC; husband of Ethel Anne Partanen and father of Lesley A. Partanen of Dartmouth, NS.
Chief Partanen joined the RCN on 04 Feb 1950 in Montreal, QC. He was one of nine sailors who died as a result of a gearbox explosion and fire aboard HMCS Kootenay. For his courage, CPO1 Partanen was posthumously awarded the Cross of Valour, Canada's second highest bravery decoration.
Cross of Valour citation: "CWO Vaino Olavi Partanen was Chief engine room artificer aboard the HMCS Kootenay. He remained at his post to inform the bridge when an explosion and fire devastated the engine room. HMCS Kootenay, one of seven "Restigouche"-class-destroyer-escorts in the Canadian Navy was conducting full power trials on October 23, 1969 in the Western Approaches to the English Channel with eight other Canadian ships. At 8:21 in the morning there was an explosion in the engine room. Intense heat, flame and smoke engulfed the engine room almost immediately and spread to adjacent passageways and to the boiler room. There were immediate orders to clear the engine room but CWO Partanen, in full knowledge that he was in mortal danger, remained behind in order to report the situation by telephone to the officer of watch on the bridge. He died moments after attempting to make his effort."
Chief Partanen is buried in the Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey, United Kingdom.
Ships served in:
HMCS SAGUENAY - Commissioning crew Saguenay as C2ER
Headstone for CPO1 Vaino Partanen
Headstones for graves of Kootenay and Nipigon casualties in the Brookwood Military Cemetery