They made the Ultimate Sacrifice


Jack Bernard McMahon


Stoker 1st Class (M), V54336, RCNVR


Born: 26 Dec 1911, Melfort, Saskatchewan


Died: 16 Jul 1944 at sea


Book of Remembrance


McMAHON, Jack Bernard, Sto 1c (M), V54336, RCNVR, died - 16 Jul 1944, MTB 459 - Son of William T. and Carrie B. McMahon, of Melfort, SK.


Stoker Jack Bernard McMahon of Melfort was the son of William Thomas and Carrie B. (Cockrell) McMahon who homesteaded north of Melfort. William, a native of Kerwood, Middlesex Co., Ontario, also had a brick plant west of Star City; Carrie came from Missouri in 1900. Jack was a foreman at the Melfort experimental farm for some years prior to enlisting on February 11, 1943 at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. His brother Harold also served in the Navy, brother Ray and sister Joyce were in the R.C.A.F., and sister Mona was a nurse with the United States Army.


Stoker Jack McMahon was killed during action with the enemy. He was buried at sea.


On 16 Jul 1944 boats 459, 464 and 466 were close in to Le Havre, zigzagging under fire from batteries both at Cap de la Heve to the north of the port, and Trouville to the south. About midnight, their controlling frigate which was lying outside the assault anchorage with its radar team on the alert, vectored them on to some enemy minesweepers which were creeping northward out of Le Heve, close inshore. The three boats made for the position, and as they raced along the coast, were suddenly illuminated by flares dropped from an enemy aircraft overhead. The flares were followed by bombs. Then the shells from the shore batteries stated, screaming down on them at a range of less than four miles. One shell crashed through the light sides of 459 to explode in the engine room, killing two men and wounding another. As wreckage from below spewed up through a hole blown in the deck, the boat began to settle. Another straddling salvo burst in the water, and through the descending splashes, 466 moved in to take 459 in tow. Boat 464 circled to make smoke while lines were rigged, then followed behind, feeding the smoke screen, while 466 and her tow (459) limped away, still under heavy fire. They reached the anchorage without further damage.


Jack's brother Harold A. McMahon served in the navy during the Second World War


Note: the (M) for Sto 1c (M) indicates he passed the Auxiliary Machinery Watchkeeping course for Stoker Ratings.


Ships served in:

HMCS UNICORN - Enlisted 11 Feb 1943. Commenced Active Service 06 Apr 1943.

HMS ATTACK (Royal Navy Coastal Forces Base Portland, England) - Served in ATTACK 25 Oct 1943 - 20 Nov 1943

MTB 461 - Drafted to MTB 461 31 Dec 1943

MTB 459 - Date drafted to MTB 459 unknown - possibly on loan from MTB 461






(JM01-JM02) Record of Service

(JM03) Naval Message listing Dawson and McMahon as casualties on MTB 459

(JM04) Letter to Stoker McMahon's mother



Second World War Casualty Index