They made the Ultimate Sacrifice
HALE, William Frederick Lt, RCNVR, MPK - 14 Feb 1945, MTB-466 - Son of Samuel Coffman and Helen Annie Hale, of Winnipeg, MB.
Lieutenant William Hale was killed in an accidental explosion on a motor torpedo boat in Belgium, his body was not recovered. During the afternoon of 14 February 1945, several flotillas including he 29th Canadian were tied up at Ostend Harbour. Highly volatile gasoline had been washed into the water and became ignited. A wall of flames engulfed the MTBs and five of the eight boats of the 29th Flotilla were destroyed along with seven British boats. There were 26 Canadians and 35 British sailors killed in the fire.
When last seen, just prior to the explosion, Lt Hale was attacking the fire with a hand held fire extinguisher.
Mentioned in Despatches Citation: HALE, William Frederick, Lieutenant, Mention in Despatches (Posthumous), RCNVR, MTB-466, 29th Canadian MTB Flotilla - Awarded as per Canada Gazette of 15 September 1945 and London Gazette of 24 July 1945. "For good services in a fire at Ostend, 14th February 1945."
Ships served in:
HMCS CHIPPAWA - Enlisted 05 Jan 1943 as a Prob. SLt, RCNVR.
HMCS CHIPPAWA - Commenced Active Service 10 Jun 1943
HMCS CORNWALLIS & HMCS KINGS - Appointed 28 Jul 1943 for Training and Disposal
HMCS VENTURE - Appointed to VENTURE 29 Nov 1943, add'l for duty with Captain M.L. as a SLt, RCNVR
ML Q073 - Appointed to Q73 04 Dec 1943 as a SLt, RCNVR. Re-Appointed to Q073 VENTURE 26 Jan 1944 as a SLt, RCNVR, XO. Re-Appointed to Q073 10 Jun 1944 as an A/Lt, RCNVR
HMCS STADACONA - Appointed to STADACONA 15 Jul 1944, add'l for passage to UK as an A/ Lt, RCNVR. Re-Appointed at a Lt, RCNVR (seniority 10 Jun 1944)
HMCS NIOBE - Appointed to NIOBE 21 Jul 1944, add'l as Spare Officer for Canadian MTB Flotilla as a Lt, RCNVR
HMCS NIOBE - Appointed to NIOBE 28 Jul 1944, add'l as Spare Officer 29th MTB Flotilla as a Lt, RCNVR
MTB-465 - Appointed to MTB-465 23 Sep 1944 as a Lt, RCNVR, XO. Appointed to MTB-465, add'l 28 Sep 1945 as a Lt, RCNVR
MTB-466 - Appointed to MTB-466 19 Oct 1944 as a Lt, RCNVR, XO
(WH01-WH02) Record of Service (WH03) Report of Death (WH04) Article from the Winnipeg Evening Tribune on the death of Lt William Hale
(WH05-WH09) Letters sent to Lt Hale's parents