In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar
WYNNYK, Jaroslaw (Jerry) - passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Thursday, March 2, 2023 at the age of 88. Cherished husband of the late Irma Wynnyk. Loving father of Ralph (Maria), Michael, Christine (Steve), Teri (Jamie), Mary (predeceased) and son- in-law Clyde. Big brother to Mores and Bob (both predeceased). Cherished grandpa to Scott, Shawn (Nicole), Jessie (Wynnyk), Brian and Darren (Steph) (Kelley), Brittney (Dylan), and Joshua (Hong), Amelia and Samuel (Wynnyk) and Liam (Bell). Beloved great-grandpa to Braeden, Kylie and Maddie (Wynnyk), and uncle to many nephews and nieces. Proud member of the Royal Canadian Navy for 32 years. Joined as an Able Seaman, was commissioned from the ranks in 1967 and retired as a Lieutenant (Navy). The Wynnyk family would like to thank Dr. O'Keefe and the amazing team of doctors, nurses, volunteers and other staff at the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus. A Memorial Gathering to Celebrate Jerry's Life will be held at the Pinecrest Visitation Centre, 2500 Baseline Road, Ottawa on Sunday, March 12, 2023 from 1 to 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations to the would be appreciated. (Cole Funeral Services 05 Mar 2023)
Ships served in:
HMCS HUNTER - Enlisted in the RCN(R) 03 Jun 1952 as an OSSNQ
* Completed Reserve New Entry Training 14 -28 Jun 1952
HMCS CRESCENT - Served in CRESCENT 29 Jun 1952-02 Aug 1952 for training
HMCS HUNTER - Returned to HUNTER 03 Aug 1952
* Rated ABNQ 02 Sep 1953
* Transferred to the RCN 18 Sep 1954
HMCS CORNWALLIS - Drafted to CORNWALLIS 18 Sep 1954 as an ABNQ, RCN for New Entry training
HMCS STADACONA - Drafted to STADACONA 31 Jan 1955 as an ABAM1, RCN for Trade Group 1 Course
HMCS ST LAURENT - Drafted to ST LAURENT 05 Jan 1956 as an AB.AM1, RCN
HMCS CORNWALLIS - Drafted to CORNWALLIS 06 Jul 1956 as an ABAM1, RCN for Academic Upgrading Course
HMCS CRUSADER - Drafted to CRUSADER 17 Sep 1956 as an ABAM1, RCN
* Rated LSAM1 25 Dec 1956
* Rated LSAM2 01 Jan 1957 (Advanced)
HMCS HAIDA - Drafted to HAIDA 01 Feb 1957 as an LSAM2, RCN
HMCS NADEN - Drafted to NADEN 01 Oct 1957 as an LSAM2, RCN for Trade Group 3 Course Torpedo Armourer
* Rated LSTA3 12 Sep 1958
HMCS STADACONA - Drafted to STADACONA 15 Sep 1958 as a LSTA3, RCN
HMCS MICMAC - Drafted to MICMAC 10 Mar 1959 as a LSTA3, RCN
* Rated P2TA3 01 Apr 1959
* Landed to STAD Hospital 24 Jul - 12 Oct 1959 - returned to MICMAC on discharge
* Re-classified WU3 01 Jan 1960
HMCS STADACONA - Drafted to STADACONA 17 Mar 1961 as a P2WU4, RCN
HMCS CORNWALLIS - Drafted to CORNWALLIS 06 Apr 1961 as a P2WU4 for Leadership Course
HMCS STADACONA - Drafted to STADACONA 23 May 1961 as a P2WU4, RCN
HMCS IROQUOIS - Drafted to IROQUOIS 01 Dec 1961 as a P1WU4, RCN
HMCS CAPE SCOTT - Drafted to CAPE SCOTT 22 Oct 1962 as a P1WU4, RCN
HMCS STADACONA - Drafted to STADACONA 26 Jun 1862 as a P1WU4, RCN as Instructor, Weapons Division
HMCS STADACONA - Drafted to STADACONA 01 Dec 1964 as a C2WU4 as Drafting Chief - Weapons
CFB ESQUIMALT - Drafted to ESQUIMALT 06 Sep 1966 as a C2WU4, RCN for Pre-Commissioning Course
* Appointed Commissioned Officer 28 Apr 1967
Jerry's life in the Navy - written by his friend Bill Dziadyk and read at Jerry's funeral.
While Jerry was in his second year at the Technical High School in Windsor, one his buddies, a Navy reservist, asked him to attend a drill night with him. Jerry attended, liked what he saw … and decided to join. THE HOOK WAS SET!
Jerry joined the RCN Reserves on the 3rd of June 1952 about 2 months after his 18th birthday … and about 5 years after arriving as an immigrant in Canada from the Ukraine, via Germany.
Jerry planned to join the navy reserve earlier on his 18th birthday. However he had not lived in Canada for at least 5 years … and ministerial approval was needed for him to join.
While still attending the technical high school in Windsor, he served for two and half years in the HMCS Hunter Naval Reserve Division, which was a "stone frigate".
However, Ordinary Seaman Wynnyk spent the summer of 1952 at sea, onboard the WW2 era destroyer HMCS Crescent on a trip to Europe.
In addition to getting valuable career experience at sea in a warship, Jerry would often share his fond memories of that trip with mess mates. The Crescent visited Portsmouth, England and Dieppe, France. The Crescent was the first RCN ship to visit Dieppe since the Second World War. To quote Jerry:
"Canadian Sailors were greeted with open arms everywhere we went. We could not buy a beer because the local population wanted to treat us. It was a very nice experience.
About 14 months after joining the Naval Reserves, Jerry was promoted to Able Seaman on the 2nd of September 1953.
Jerry graduated from the Technical High School's 2 year program in Auto Mechanics in May 1954 … which was intended to be followed by a 2-year apprenticeship at an automotive dealership.
Over the summer, Jerry applied for apprenticeship positions at a number of dealerships with no luck.
When training at HMCS Hunter resumed in September 1954, the Coxswain a seasoned Chief Petty Officer First Class, said (and I quote from Jerry's article in Volume 11 Salty Dips): "I will give you some good advice. The Navy is building a lot of new ships, and this is a good time to join the RCN because they need manpower for those ships"
Jerry thought about the Coxswain's advice … and two days later on the 9th of September 1954, he joined the Royal Canadian Navy and he retained his rank of Able Seaman.
Because of his Able Seaman rank and at sea experience, Jerry attended a much shortened "new entry training" course.
Jerry started his RCN career in the Ordnance branch. He completed the 6 month Armourer's Mate (Trade Group 1) course in Halifax just before Christmas 1955. This course built upon the knowledge and skills gained at his Technical High School and provided Jerry with a foundation that served him well over his naval technical career in the lower deck and later as an officer and a defence contractor. The course included:
In early January 1956, ABAM1 Wynnyk reported for duty in the first of the new ships, … which his naval reserve Coxswain advised him about just 16 months earlier. - HMCS St. Laurent the first of the Cadillacs.
Being the first of a new class of modern destroyers, HMCS St. Laurent's first deployment was to England on a special tasking.
The St Laurent would be one of two escorts (with HMS Daring, another first of a new destroyer class, being the second escort) for the Royal Yacht Britannia's transit (with the Queen and Prince Philip embarked) to Stockholm, Sweden for a State Visit.
In Stockholm, on 11 June 1956, the Royal Party were piped onboard the St Laurent for a picture to be taken with the ship's company on the fo'c'sle.
After the photo was taken, Prince Phillip, being an inquisitive naval officer, asked for a personal stem to stern tour of the impressive new destroyer, while Her Majesty waited in the Wardroom. Hmmm?
One of Jerry's treasured possessions is the framed photo which was personally presented to him (and to all crew members) by the Commanding Officer, then Commander Robert Timbrell. (15 years later In October 1971, Rear-Admiral Timbrell assumed command of Maritime Command in Halifax. However, he resigned in 1973 in opposition to the government's unification of the Navy, Army and Airforce.)
In addition to the St Laurent, during Jerry's first 10 years in the regular force, he had been drafted back to sea in another five ships (HMC Ships Crusader, Haida, MicMac, Iroquois, and Cape Scott) … and in December 1964, Jerry was promoted to Chief Petty Officer Second Class in record time.
As a C2WU4 (Chief Petty Officer Second Class, Weaponman Underwater, Trade Group 4), Jerry became an instructor in the Fleet School in Halifax.
Jerry's final position in the lower deck (and his all-time favorite job) was as the Drafting Chief for posting personnel in the four weapons occupations.
After a year-long pre-commissioning course at HMCS Naden in Victoria, Jerry was promoted to Commissioned Officer on 28 April 1967.
After being commissioned Jerry served primarily as an Instructor in the Weapons Division in Fleet School Halifax.
While still with the Weapons Division, a highlight of Jerry's career was being posted with Erma and children to England for a year-long Weapons Technical Officers (ATO) course at the Royal Military College of Science in Shrivenham. This course included all aspects of safely handling, storing, using, disabling and destroying of explosives. This practical course also included bomb disposal team organization, safety and procedures.
After graduating from the ATO course in England, one of Jerry's secondary duties was being a member of the Bomb Disposal Unit in Halifax … and later in Ottawa. In 1976, his Ottawa unit was deployed to the Montreal Olympics, … just in case a need arose.
Fast forward to 1975 when I first met Jerry.
I did not know Jerry until we were each posted from Halifax to Ottawa with our respective families in 1975.
Jerry's career as Lieutenant in the NDHQ Ottawa (DGMEM) (aka the puzzle palace) was related to the life cycle material management (LCMM) for naval weapons systems and related ammunition.
Of course, Jerry still had Bomb Disposal Unit responsibilities.
After retiring from the Navy, Jerry worked for Fleetway Consulting which provided LCMM support to the Navy.
As you all would know, Jerry and his former shipmate Stan Tardif were married to sisters Erma and Anna. As a result of social activities at the HMCS Bytown officers' mess, my wife Dale and I became friends with both families. And I am thankful for that.