They made the Ultimate Sacrifice
PATTERSON, Robert Douglas Masterman, ERA 5c, V37614, RCNVR, killed - 21 Jul 1943, HMCS THE PAS - Son of Robert Douglas Patterson and Emma Patterson, of Esquimalt, BC.
E.R.A. Patterson was killed instantly when HMCS The Pas was in a collision with the SS Medina while escorting convoy ON 192. Patterson was in his hammock which was just where the collision occurred. Robert enlisted in Sep 1942, training at Toronto and Esquimalt. He was the son of Douglas Patterson and Emma Patterson, of Esquimalt, British Columbia.
On being notified of his death, Robert's mother went down to the ocean near where she lived waiting for her son to swim home to her, despite he was lost on the Atlantic and the family home was in Esquimalt on the Pacific. According to Joe, Robert's younger brother, their mother grieved in this way for a year or two. The poem below tells that sad story.
Robert Douglas Masterman Patterson an Esquimalt Hero Died at Sea July 21, 1943
There is a memorial bench near the sea, a place where a grieving mother waited, "Oh! Robbie, please swim home to me."
An Esquimalt lad who served his country, and gave his young life full of promise, so the rest of us would be free.
His ship, on Atlantic convoy bound, in fog and tight formation rammed, his body swept into the sea, never found.
At the foot of Nelson Street near the sea listen carefully to the sea breeze murmur, "Oh! Robbie, please swim home to me."
Ships served in:
HMCS NADEN - Enlisted 20 May 1942 as an ERA 5c, RCNVR
CPSS PRINCESS ELIZABETH - Served in PRINCESS ELIZABETH 18 Aug 1942 - 22 Sep 1942 for training as an ERA 5c, RCNVR
HMCS THE PAS - Drafted to THE PAS 01 May 1943 as a ERA 5c, RCNVR
(RP01) Petty Officer ERA Robert Patterson (RP02-RP03) Certificate of Service - pages 1 and 2 (RP04-RP05) Letters to ERA Patterson's mother