In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar
Recollections of Glen McInnes (as described through Glen's wife, Flora McInnes):
"In April 1945, the VICTORIAVILLE left Halifax harbour on escort duty. When leaving, they heard pings on their sonar but assumed they were from equipment in the harbour. However, it was a German submarine well submerged in the harbour. The HMCS ESQUIMALT was on minesweeper duty patrolling the shores and harbour and had not employed the mandatory anti-submarine precautions. As the ESQUIMALT was heading in the direction of the sub, the Germans thought they had been detected and torpedoed the ESQUIMALT which sank rapidly. (on April 16th, 1945) It was the last ship lost at sea during the war due to enemy action.
It became known that a submarine sailed up the St. Lawrence river as far as Montreal.
Some of the children there had German hat tallies and some of the German seamen had stubs from a movie theatre in Montreal.
After the sinking of the ESQUIMALT, the sub escaped the area and remained on duty in the N.W. sea. Later on in May, they had run out of ammunition and were ordered to surrender by Donitz. They threw all weapons possible overboard and then surfaced raising a black flag of surrender. The VICTORIAVILLE and HMCS THORLOCK spotted and captured it.
The captain and most of the crew of the U-109 were taken aboard the VICTORIAVILLE as prisoners. The rest of the crew remained on the sub. The Germans must have thought our fellows were a bunch of dummies because they kept saying that it was cold and damp below and wanted the hatch closed.
The two ships escorted the submarine to Bay Bulls in Newfoundland on May 12th, 1945. There , the remaining German crew were removed as prisoners. While aboard, some of the German seamen showed our fellows how they could accurately draw a map of the entire eastern coastline of Canada and the U.S.A.
It turned out it was the U-190 that was responsible for sinking the ESQUIMALT in Halifax harbour.
Shortly after that the war ended and Atlantic escort duty was no longer needed. Glen then volunteered for Pacific theatre duty in the war against Japan. He was home on leave while the VICTORIAVILLE was in refit for Pacific duty. During this time, the Americans dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and in a few days the Japanese surrendered. Not too long after, Glen received his discharge papers."
Ships served in:
Believed to be members of U-190 boarding party from HMCS VICTORIAVILLE