They made the Ultimate Sacrifice
WALKLEY, John Molson, Lt, RCNVR, MPK - 16 Jun 1942, HMCS NANAIMO - Son of John Molson and Emily Walkley, of Montreal, QC; husband of Mary Elizabeth Walkley, of Halifax, NS.
Mentioned in Despatches Citation: WALKLEY, John Molson, Lieutenant, Posthumous Mention in Despatches, RCNVR, HMCS NANAIMO - Awarded as per Canada Gazette of 28 November 1942 and London Gazette of 22 December 1942. "For gallantry and supreme devotion to duty in connection with convoys."
The sinking of the Port Nicholson - The Port Nicholson formed part of convoy XB 25, one of the coastal convoy routes between Halifax Harbour and Boston. She was under the command of her master, Harold Charles Jeffrey, and was carrying a cargo of 1,600 tons of automobile parts and 4,000 tons of military stores. The convoy was tracked by the German submarine U-87, commanded by Joachim Berger. At 4.17 hours on the morning of 16 June 1942 he fired a torpedo at the convoy, which was then 100 miles (160 km) off Portland, Maine. He fired a second torpedo a minute later, but the gale conditions at the time prevented him from observing the results accurately, and he recorded that while one torpedo had hit a ship, the other seemed to have missed. In fact, both torpedoes struck the Port Nicholson, the first in the engine room, the second in the stern. Two men in the engine room were killed immediately, and as the Port Nicholson began to settle by the stern, the remaining crew abandoned ship and were picked up by the Royal Canadian Navy corvette HMCS NANAIMO. The Port Nicholson did not sink immediately, and by dawn was still afloat. Her master returned to the ship, accompanied by the chief engineer, and Lieutenant John Molson Walkley and three ratings from NANAIMO, to see if the ship could be salvaged. While they were aboard, worsening weather caused the ship to suddenly start to sink. The party abandoned her, but their boat was overturned in the suction as Port Nicholson went down, drowning Jeffrey, Walkley, the chief engineer and a rating. The two surviving ratings were rescued by NANAIMO, which landed the survivors from Port Nicholson at Boston.
Ships served in:
RCNVR DIVISION MONTREAL - Enlisted 12 Nov 1940as a Prob. SLt, RCNVR. Commenced Active Service 01 Jan 1941
HMCS ROYAL ROADS for training - Served in Royal Roads 26 Jan 1941 - 26 Apr 1941 as a Prob. SLt, RCNVR
HMCS VENTURE - Served in VENTURE for duty with Extended Defence Officer, Halifax 27 Apr 1941 - 11 Jan 1942 as a SLt and Lt, RCNVR
HMCS MOOSE JAW - Served in MOOSE JAW 12 Jan 1942 - unknown as a Lt, RCNVR
HMCS AVALON II - Served in AVALON II - unknown - 01 Feb 1942 as a Lt, RCNVR
HMCS NANAIMO - Appointed to NANAIMO 02 Feb 1942 as a Lt, RCNVR
(JW01-JW02) Records of Service (JW03) Report of Death (JW04) Report from the C.O. of HMS VETERAN on the sinking of the Port Nicholson (JW05) Recommendation for posthumous recognition for Lt John Walkley and AB Leslie Horne by the C.O. of HMS VETERAN
(JW06) Telegram to Lt Walkley's widow (JW07-JW09) Letters to Lt Walkley's widow (JW10) Newspaper article on the death of Lt John Walkley
Appointment to HMCS AVALON II effective date of joining, then HMCS NANAIMO effective 02 Feb 1942